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The Importance of Being Earnest

Thomasrobey72x722Thomas Robey -- There’s been a little talk around this blog about applications to residency. It seems as though there are a few of us in the process of making that next step in medical education. I imagine there are more than a few readers who are applying to medical school, as well. Are you in the same boat as me?

If so, you’ll recognize some of our fellow passengers. They go by common names.  There’s Ambition in the lookout post trying to figure out what the best course is. Her foil, Trepidation, refers to the navigational charts too often. Fortunately, Patience is on the rudder and keeps the boat on track even though he can’t exactly share with the others where the crew is headed. But Heartburn and Heartbreak are restless in their bunks waiting to make their appearance later in the voyage. Two crewmen are recklessly practicing their swordsmanship on the bow; Humility and Showman are tearing apart your personal statement with alternating sabre slashes. As captain of this ship, you’re having a tough go of keeping the crew in line. Mutiny is an ever-present possibility, as folks are feeling more and more lost at sea.

If you’re smart, you’ll hire on as your first mate a chap who goes by the name of Earnest. Let me introduce him to you:

ear•nest: [ûr'n?st] <ur-nist> – adjective

1.    serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous: an earnest worker.

2.    showing depth and sincerity of feeling: earnest words; an earnest entreaty.

3.    seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.

– noun

4.    full seriousness, as of intention or purpose: to speak in earnest.

It seems to me that this profession we are about to enter into, whether as students, residents, or (gasp) physicians is one not to be taken lightly. Along the same lines, the grueling application and interview process must not interfere with our dreams. All of the hoops along the way get us all down; the sincere zealousness of the undaunted applicant is what will get her through in the end.

At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

August 18, 2008 in Thomas Robey | Permalink


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