Reflections on Career Choice

Perhaps your life experiences and classes thus far in medical school have begun to inspire career decisions.

When I was a medical student, I was first drawn to Anatomy by the idea that the human body was complex but ultimately finite and within my understanding. Some of my classmates instead found themselves directed toward other disciplines by the first taste of Biochemistry, Embryology or Histology.

Now your clinical courses will provide a framework to test your abilities and comfort in a variety of fields and clinical settings.

During my clinical clerkships, I imagined myself functioning in the shoes of residents and faculty members, and found confirmation of my initial inclination. Some of my classmates experienced similar verification of their evolving career plans, and others instead felt dissonance and hurried to adjust AIs and electives rotations.

Our goal is that future surgeons and non-surgeons will enjoy the Surgery clerkship. Those students who cast preconceptions aside will certainly receive a core learning experience that all physicians need. As well, by integrating into our surgical teams for these eight weeks, you will learn more about your appropriate place in the broader field of Medicine.

All of us who aspire to become true physicians must direct our careers not only to places where we feel mastery and control, but also to those where we find ourselves humbled. During these core clerkships, be alert for moments that resonate with your deeper calling as a physician. They may come from terminal patients, helpless neonates, or underserved populations. If you are like me, they will be found in the living anatomy of the operating room.

Tim Farrell
Co-Clerkship Director