A letter from June 30th, 2019
You did it. You finished your intern year.
Im sitting right now, full of anxiety, dreading tomorrow: the first day of internship. I'm scared because I feel like I know nothing. I'm scared because I can't log into EPIC, I don't know how early I should come in, idk who my patients are or any of my colleagues that will lead me through this. I don't want to give a bad first impression to my attending. Everyone seems nice and laid back but that wont make up for my deficits. I struggled carrying 5 patients. How do they expect me to carry 10? How will I actually know anything about these patients?
If you are reading this than you survived. Life has been difficult. You struggled with anxiety and depression for years. It got really bad in medical school. Fear and dread before every rotation. You isolated yourself and wanted to cry a lot. You did things you wish you hadn't. Despite that, you showed up. You did your best. You finished. I hope throughout the year you will remember that during the low points. You have made it this far. Thousands have come before you. I hope you keep in your mind that you are just as capable as them.
When you moved to NYC you made a promise to yourself. That you will be kinder to yourself. That you will stand up for yourself. That you won't let medicine or anyone control your life. You love medicine but it doesn't define us. I hope in this past year you have found the courage to be true to yourself. You deserve it. I hope you had the time to make friends, go out, date, exercise, be healthy, and just enjoy life. I'm sure the past year has been difficult but you shouldn't have to put your entire life on hold during this time. Its okay if you didn't achieve everything you wanted this past year. Be kind to yourself. Follow your own life schedule. Don't let others dictate your life. You always have the opportunity to improve. There is no deadline. In the end, patients will do better if you are well.
I'm sure you now have a new set of worries. How will you function as a PGY2? How will you cope with the increased responsibility? How will you prepare for fellowship match? How will you continue to do all that while grow as a person? These are the same anxieties and concerns that you have faced ever since you decided to become a doctor. For years you have felt these feelings and always succeeded. You tried your best. You asked for help when you could. You didn't let anxiety or depression break you. Just like those experiences in the past years, you will again succeed. I'm sure it wont be easy. I'm sure you are drained completely. But you are capable and you deserve it.
As you enter this next academic year, please remember:
You belong here.
You deserve to be here.
You are capable.
You will thrive.