I see you.
Studying. Reading the updated guidelines for patients with COVID-19, reviewing differentials, and management algorithms for common chief complaints during this time of restricted direct patient contact. Embracing online boot camps. Completing residency paperwork. Thank you for preparing.
Relaxing. Trying out a new yoga video. Watching Netflix by the hour. Reading a new book. Going for a run or walk. Thank you for re-charging your batteries so you can serve others with a full cup.
Helping. Triaging patients by phone. Screening hospital visitors. Writing policies. Conducting telemedicine visits. Collecting or organizing fundraising campaigns for PPE. Babysitting children of physicians. Graduating early to help on the frontlines. Thank you for your service.
Dreaming. Looking for your new home online. Starting group chats with your future friends/co-residents. Thinking of how you’ll spend that first paycheck. Planning your first vacation. Thank you for dreaming of your future.
Connecting. Spending hours on the phone and video chat. Laughing at moments of repeatedly talking when muted. Catching up with distant friends and family. Making time to reflect, journal, or otherwise acknowledge the inner you. Thank you for staying connected.
Mourning. After receiving the email graduation is postponed, online, or canceled. You have been working for this moment for at least the past four years, but we all know it’s been so much longer than that: the 2-3 years of pre-requisite requirements in college or post-baccalaureate, perhaps the AP courses in high school, maybe the aspirations of your childhood self. Thank you for honoring your long-term dreams of a very different day.
Celebrating. Making plans for graduation to be some sort of awesome (and safe) event anyway. Finding creative ways to offer gratitude to yourself and those that supported you along the way to this incredible achievement. Thank you for celebrating your hard work, and this monumental transition to becoming a physician.
Hoping. The world is gaining a dedicated new wave of physicians. The knowledge, strength, and love you have to offer will be a welcome addition to the already dedicated group of frontline health care professionals. This is the beginning of a new chapter.
Thank you for your hope and strength.
Lilian White is a medical student.
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