The Too Rapid Passage of Time

You finish finals and it’s March, but Preparation for Practice means that there are still three months before you actually finish medical school. You attend your last lecture as a medical student and it’s May, but graduation is still five weeks away. You graduate and it’s June, but even so there’s still a whole month of summer left. And then you look up one day and the middle of July has come and gone, and you start work next Tuesday.

I haven’t known a summer go so quickly since I was eleven and worried about going to “big school”.

Well, I say summer.

This still doesn’t seem entirely real. On Saturday, I met someone in person who I first met online several months ago, and he asked what I do in the rest of my life. “I’m a doctor,” I said, and then had to stop myself from giggling because it felt like a lie. I haven’t stopped feeling like an imposter yet. I’m waiting for them to figure out that I don’t really know anything and that I’m not a proper doctor at all, or even a proper grown-up really. I’ve got a ward (what’s a sliding scale, again?) and a rota and a bleep number, though, and they appear to be expecting me at shadowing week and induction, so evidently someone thinks that I am.

Not much for it now but to jump in with both feet and hope that I remember how to swim.



  1. I can not remember when we first met, or when I first realised you were a medical student, however what I have come to realise is that you are a person of great integrity and conviction. You ARE a doctor, and without knowing things, both from your formal studies and your outside life “of a whirlwind of …., books, incense, coffee mugs, and sarcasm” you would have not got were you are today.

    You will be a credit to yourself. The hundreds of patients with whom you have a hand in their care over the coming years will be grateful for the help you give them.

    …and you will remember how to swim.

  2. I still can’t quite take it seriously when I’m called “Doctor,” either. I suppose it’ll sink in some day, but my first inclination is to say, “that’s my dad.”

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