Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Thus commences the first week of the rest of our lives…by Avi Kopstick, August blogger of the month

Summer orientation is over. We passed our Emergency Medicine exam. We moved into what will potentially be our new homes for the next four years. We met, shook hands with, and shared a few drinks with the classes above us… Now what?
(Disclaimer: For those of you who have come to know and, I’m sure, love my humorous writing style/musings over the past month, I will be sorry to disappoint. Whereas my previous posts mainly functioned to report on the lived-experiences here at MSIH and in Beer Sheba, I decided instead to shift my focus for this last entry. If you want to know more about what Beer Sheva is like, I invite you to come visit – I hear tickets are pretty cheap this time of war ;). Or you can just return to this blog next week, where I am sure one of my classmates will be continuing with some first-rate blogging on our first-year here at MSIH.)
… Now what? It’s a scary thought, but become first-rate doctors, I’m assuming. It’s what we’ve always wanted to do. It’s what we all gave up so much to come here to do.
Before attending MSIH, one of my classmates worked as a nuclear chemist. After nearly a decade of building her career, she sold her apartment, found new parents for her beloved pet, and boarded a plane to Israel to study medicine. Another classmate of mine taught science in high school. First in, first out to go be a doctor. We said goodbye to family, friends, those we loved, those we were learning to love, all to pursue something completely different from what we have ever know. Some of us left high paying jobs, in pharmaceutical companies for example. I myself was well on my way to becoming one of the top Starbucks baristas/karaoke hosts in Toronto.
And for what? For this experiment we call medical school. Who knows what will be in four years from now? Of course, we will learn an incredible, incredible amount. We will pass, become doctors, etc. But when we go back to the places we came from, will it be the same? Will we be the same? What will the economic situation be at that time? We’ve taken out huge loans and lines of credit and forsaken the next for years of employment. Will we be able to easily pay back all that we’ve borrowed? One of my classmates will be required to enlist when he returns to his country of citizenship. How will he be able to repay his loans? And even if our transition back is an easy one, will being a doctor really be everything that we’ve always dreamed of?
This post is dedicated to my classmates, my peers, my new friends. These are the sacred sacrifices we’ve made. This is the forbidden dance we now follow with the unknown. May our next four years here at MSIH be meaningful, productive, challenging, engaging, enjoyable, and worth everything we’ve given up. May our dreams be attained and our goals actualized. May we become the doctors we’ve always wanted to be and help the people we’ve always wanted to help. I look forward to spending the next four years with you on this adventure we call medical school.  - blogger of the month, Avi Kopstick