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Reflecting after the first year of medical school

I left the library at 10 p.m. the night before the last exam of my first year of med school. As I hopped on my bike, I took comfort in my typical pre-test refrain: I’m done studying. I did everything I could. Of course, I’m not really done studying: I still have three years of school left packed with end-of-block finals, end-of-rotation exams, and the behemoths of the medical testing world, the national licensing examinations called Step. I haven’t even taken the first Step, but biking home that night, I realized that I’ve taken a major leap in the past ten months. In medical school, doing “everything I could” is both more and less than ever before. The more: I can spend more...

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