Countdown to July 1: MS3

Anyone familiar with the medical education process knows the significance of July 1st. It is the day that everyone moves up a peg. MS2's become MS3's. MS4's become PGY1's. PGY3's (or 4's or 5's) become attendings. There's a lot of significance wrapped up in July 1st.

Third year of medical school is a funny thing. It is an unpredictable experience. It is rough and wonderful and glorious and terrible. It is amazing and disturbing. And the thing about the third year of medical school is that it changes people. At the beginning, everyone starts bright eyed and eager, and by the end, students are profoundly different.

We all imagine that if we were in battle, we would be leading the charge, but what we may discover is that we are the ones hiding in foxholes, shitting ourselves. And that is what you find out about yourself in third year. You find out who you are. You discover if you are vengeful or vindictive, apathetic or aggressive, kind or cantankerous. Your own true nature is revealed.

There are many reasons for this. The MS3 is sleep deprived. He is rotating through different rotations and always a little disoriented. He has not eaten breakfast in 10 months. He has not seen the sun except through patient room windows. He has been constantly pimped about every piece of medical knowledge currently known.

Although we have been trying to change the process of medical education, the MS3 experience is still one of being crushed down, and then being rebuilt better than before: better, stronger, faster. However, that means that some soul crushing has to take place... As nice as it is to be done with the process and look back on MS3 with nostalgia, having your soul crushed is a uniquely painful experience.

Some words of advice to the new MS3:
-Take a shower, no matter what.
-Work hard, play hard.
-No one likes a kiss ass.
-Wear comfortable shoes.
-Your attending wants 3 things from you: honesty, enthusiasm, and diligence (if you have none of these qualities, learn to fake it).

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