Every step in the medical education process is a humbling one. There's never a safe moment when medicine won't put you in your place. For me, the most humbling part of my medical education was the application process. I was waitlisted to some, rejected by most. My applicant year was extremely competitive, and some of my rejection letters acknowledged that in other years I would've been accepted, but for circumstance.
I lived in fear of my mailbox. I made a large pile of rejection letters on my desk. I was going to burn them once I got accepted, but after several months, my burning plan was lost in self-pity. Two schools were kind enough to reject me via postcard. I that that was the biggest slap in the face, that my rejection was not worth an envelope.
The interviews were even worse. One interviewer actually told me that I had no business applying to med school, and I shouldn't bother to pursue it any further. Another interview, I forgot my tie of all things. The interviewer took one look at me and didn't bother to listen to a word I said.
So, in early June while I was packing up my apartment and getting ready to move back home, I got an overnight express letter: 'Congratulations! Blah, blah, blah. Sign here!' One of my waitlist schools came through.
Now that I'm further along, it's easy to look back on those times with nostalgia, but it's awfully humbling to know that the only reason I got into medical school was because someone higher up on the list said 'No thanks, I can do better.' Thanks, dude. I really didn't want to move in with my mom.