by Michael Natter, 2017 Rudin Fellow
Fear. Trepidation. Hesitation. Self Doubt. In the months leading up to intern year, I was a mess. The first few weeks were filled with many firsts. I felt the weight of new responsibility, and as I progressed through one rotation to another, I took note of the many idiosyncrasies I encountered. Some of the interactions were humorous. Often my patients would find ways to get me to chuckle. Other experiences were about keeping face, feeling what is ever present in the medical world: the constant fear of looking “dumb” in front of one’s peers or patients. It’s the ‘codes’ that are the most jarring. Being confronted with mortality is a harrowing thing. We spend most of our lives trying to distract ourselves from the fact that we will die one day. Being reminded, and trying to halt the process of, death is uniquely humbling. Yet, as I find myself being stretched thin by intern year, with each code and new admission, I can feel myself growing.