Today – Apple released yet another wonderful OS.
It’s fast, it’s sleek and hey – it’s 20 bucks. So if you haven’t downloaded it (and you own a mac…please do so now) because I am dictating not typing this message.
But I digress.
I have been T-A’ing in the Anatomy lab during these last few weeks of (the last ever) summer. It’s eerie to see the excitement, fear, insecurity, and hope of the incoming first-year class as they begin dissections on the lower limb. I was speaking to one who was experiencing the inevitable doubts of medical school, and explained to her that someone had taken the time to look at her application, including every one of her grades, extracurriculars, her personal recommendations etc. and decided our institution could make her great doctor. (She was weeping by the end of it…) Sometimes it’s incredible how quickly we forget our own struggles, and how often we doubted ourselves.
That’s why I started this blog (and the emails that came before it). Our institution has the distinction of having trained many of the black physicians currently practicing in the US [would you like to know more?]. Despite frequent financial constraints (private institution with a predominantly indigent & poor patient base at its main teaching hospital) it continues this commitment to the underserved both as patients and physicians, our “diversity” statistics…measured inversely to the norm as you can imagine, consistently defy anyone who would call us a “Black only” institution…. and on and on I could go.
Every one of my professors/elementary-highschool teachers could tell you I have at times struggled academically. (Although no fault of my stellar DNA…) This made me a perfect fit for Meharry, a place with an understanding of the term “struggle.” On Match day, earlier this year, I listened to an MD PhD detail the last decade (yes. Ten American Years) she’d spent getting her combined degrees…I believe she’s at Harvard now..(Internal medicine or something.)
Another student, before opening his letter and informing the world that he’d be an otolaryngologist (10x fast!) at some Massachusetts hospital took a moment to thank every professor who had come in after school to explain medical concepts to him. (Did I mention Meharry was the only school that accepted him?)
One of my own classmates, having attempted three times prior to get into medical school received a call from our school, days before the Post Baccalaureate program was scheduled to begin. (it’s essentially a brutal $40,000 opportunity to study for a year, followed by the MCAT and a reentry into the medical school application pool. (some don’t make it) He quit his job, kissed his mom, and got on a plane for a chance. You can find him on the front cover of “The Tennessean” in between TA’ing and teaching me graphic design. (P.S – if he becomes surgeon general within the next 40 years. I called it here first.)
Stories like these were the inspiration for a blog that will hopefully entertain, inform, and inspire students like the one I spoke earlier, students that doubt if they are aptly chosen, or if their institution can get them where they’d like to go.
Yes Mrs. **** I know, Aptly only has one P. Your years spent teaching me grammar have not gone to waste. However, as I pushed toward my own lofty medical goals. I became a techie. (I know right?) I dream of marrying technology with medicine in ways that have been yet unheard of…or better…yet unsuccessfully implemented. I opened the email discussing apple computing as their model has yielded the single greatest personal computing line in the world. (don’t believe me…understandable…but you should know, I’m dictating this message while looking at a TV screen, (not my actual computer) as the image is mirrored across the room. All for less than the cost of one Mac Pro. ) There is an efficiency and grace that apple brought to computing that I hope to see in Medicine.
Congress seems to think that Electronic health records won’t have 90% adoption until 2020. We’ll see about that.