My friends and I have a joke: These days, whenever we're explaining why we can't go to that concert/hang out/get groceries/sleep, the answer is now "Because third year."
It isn't really a joke. That's why it's funny!
Most medical school curriculums are organized so that the first two years are academic - you go to classes and learn a new language to describe all the things that can go wrong, and some of the ways we can fix it. The second two are the clinical years, where for the first time we become part of a medical team.
I am now almost two months into my third year, and I am responsible for other people's care. Not in a large way; I don't make the important decisions. But I have sat and spoken with so many people from so many walks of life who shared their pain, and I have touched more people in the last seven weeks than in the past decade. There are people who have left on a slightly different medication dosage, because I did the reading, and my resident let me make the final decision.
It's exhausting; it's exhilarating.
My brain does a thing where my focus narrows, especially when I'm stressed, and for these two months, looking away from medicine has not been something that's occurred to me. I'm sorry for dropping off the map, though I'm afraid I won't be around much for the next ten months.
Because third year.
(To entirely ruin that ending, I have also been playing dragons
, because it provides excellent five-minute brain breaks, and also dragons make everything better. My life is all medical puzzles and pixel dragons at this point. If any of you are playing, we can be ruthless dragon capitalists together maybe?)