|Image credit: Pexels|
Originally published: Common Sense July/August 2019
I did great on my SVI. The day of, I had just gotten a haircut and shaved my beard. My top half was covered by a nicely pressed navy blue suit jacket my mom bought me 4 years ago but that I hadn’t touched since my undergrad graduation. Under the blazer, a white shirt I’d worn twice that week already, and a baby blue tie I’m pretty sure I’ve had since high school. Best of all though, my bottom half was covered with a pair of stereotypical grey Hanes boxers – the type you buy in a 6+1 pack because you get one for free. I sat behind a desk in the middle of my half disastrous room (the side not covered by the camera), prayed an Our Father, and I said what had become my motivational slogan at this point, “**** it, we’re almost done.” I looked great on camera. My upper body displaying a professional, well-groomed student against a clean room backdrop with undergraduate degrees newly hung on the wall. There were no tight pants to hold me back (away rotations made me gain weight like a CHFer off Lasix). Regardless of how I looked on camera, I felt a deep helplessness. During the hardest half year of medical school trying to prove myself on away rotation after away rotation, devoid of family, friends, and proper sleep or nutrition, I was expected to be a robot in front of a video camera for reasons no medical student understood, no administrator could directly answer, and almost no PD would actually care about (let alone watch).