Up until recently, when introducing myself, I would almost inevitably say Hi, my name is JD and I’m a med student. And then whoever was listening would ask me polite questions about my course and my year and the things that people generally ask about medicine. Even in high school, people knew me as the girl who was going to do medicine (apart from my history teacher, but that’s a long story ending in general and mutual passive-aggressiveness).
It was my crutch. It was something I could talk about no matter what social situation I found myself in, and it was easy to define myself by it. Being a med student comes with a whole series of assumptions (you’re married to your studies, your social skills are severely lacking, you’re super smart, and all that fun stuff).
Barring the intelligence assumption (95% of the med students I know are ridiculously brainy, even if they refuse to admit to it), most of those things aren’t true. Yes, med students study hard, but they’re not just med students. And nor should we only define ourselves by our studies.
I’m not saying don’t be proud of what you’ve achieved. Getting this far is a huge achievement. All I’m saying is that it’s not all that you are. I’m a writer. I’m a really bad dancer. I like to think of myself as an advocate for mental health. Yes, I’m also a med student, but there’s more to me than that.