Medical School, So Far

It’s only my first year, but so far, so good
(especially considering the circumstances)

Blessings, that may not have seemed so otherwise,

  • Fern, and her spot right next to my desk
  • Monday afternoon rest after Monday morning tests
  • My apartment, that’s now full of plants
  • Getting to know the city by running
  • Connecting intentionally with my little sisters
    (not being there tugs at me)
  • Study-free mealtime that incentivizes
    slow-cooked meals
  • Dropping compost every other week at a friend’s
    (and staying for a home-cooked meal)
  • Watching Bob’s Burgers and Steven Universe
    to give my brain a break
  • Taking time for self-care, every single day

    It’s not what I’d imagined medical school would be,
    but I trust it’s what’s right for the making of me.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

This person was in his first year of medical school in Cincinnati, which was a new city to him. “It’s challenging, but it’s going okay. It’s impossible to know what it would be like otherwise since this is all I know!” he said. He walked me through his daily routine that was starting to take shape with most of his classes happening online. He shared about the things he cared about, including his family, his cat, plants, and self-care. It wasn’t how he’d imagined his first year would be, and he missed friends back home. But he trusted this was where he belonged. He was committed to staying the course. “I hope the poem can reassure me of just that,” he said.

Interviewee: Anonymous, Medical Student
Listener Poet: Jenny Hegland

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