So – I’ve got a post about the visit of a dear friend from the special needs camp I worked four years ago, who is visiting from America (with her grandma – and it’s been AMAZING!), but this is just a short one in the meantime.
I had a good meeting with staff today about the medical student mentoring scheme I’m setting up, so am feeling pretty positive. I’m really excited to be a part of improving the experience of struggling students at my university. I love new projects, and am starting the learn that one of my strengths is in moving and shaking things – I love seeing gaps, and filling them. It’s kind of like God gave me a passion for real-life tetris.
However, I’ve also taken a leap of faith this week. After being in accident/emergency, I really felt like I needed to come to a decision about how I will approach alcohol, and patients with related issues, when I practise. In short, this comes down to the ‘man or mouse’ approach – will I run from it and avoid it, or will I look it in the eye, and apply my strengths to making a difference? I want so badly to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I want so badly, for there to be a reduction in alcohol related harm in my city. I want so badly, to get people off the long road of dependancy, before they can’t get off it at all. I know that this choice may strike some as a little foolhardy, and I certainly know that I may find it hard at times – but at the end of the day, I cannot be a doctor who does not manage alcohol, as it affects such a huge proportion of people. And because of that caveat, I am choosing to actively seek opportunities to help change things. I may be part hedgehog, but there will be no mouse in me from now on.
So – I emailed one of the A/E docs whom I have an incredible amount of respect for, and have also had quite a bit of contact with as I’m a medschool rep so have to email staff fairly regularly. I asked if she knew of any focus groups for alcohol issues, and whether they’d welcome a junior member of staff, at some stage.
She replied, copying me into the head of the most appropriate group, and in this email, described me as ‘a truly excellent student’. This actually made me cry a little, as it feels as though I’ve finally got away from the horrors of last year, and after a rocky and unconfident start to fifth year, I am back on track. I am a good student, and someone has recognised that. I am a student who cares, and someone has seen that in me. Last year gave any of my already unsteady self-esteem enough of a kick to the teeth that most of the time, it’s like my radio’s set to a station where the only song playing is ‘I’m not good enough and I can’t do this’, over and over again. That description, which I imagine this doctor didn’t remotely think would mean so much to me, feels like an affirmation. I can do this. I can be part of a change. I can be part of a solution.
I am so thankful to this woman and her unconscious encouragement – but I am also so very thankful to you, my readers, who encourage me every single day. Thanks for sticking with me. I love all of you a lot.