Before fourth-year student Jeremiah White ever started medical school, he wrote this post about the moment he knew he wanted to be a doctor. Fast forward four years later and Jeremiah is about to become a physician, and he recently found out his residency placement in emergency medicine. Read below about his emotions on Match Day and his thoughts about his future as a doctor:
4 a m. is way too early to be up on a Saturday. It’s especially way too early to be writing a blog post. But anxious energy rattles the nerves, and there have been few times in my life so anxiety provoking as Match Day, a day when the totality of your four years in medical school–tests, clinical rotations, everything–culminates in one simple envelope. Inside, of course, awaits a document which tells you where your training will continue. Four long years for this one brief letter…perhaps a 4 a.m. wake time is not so crazy after all.
Yesterday, amidst the celebratory outbursts and tears of joy scattered around the event hall, I opened my plain white envelope and ecstatically read aloud to my wife and parents that we were heading north for the final chapter of my training to my number one choice at Christiana Care in Delaware. It all happens so fast, the moment is almost surreal. I remember feeling an immediate weight off my shoulders, as months of anticipatory nervousness melted away, followed by intense joy for both my results and the results of all my classmates who had also worked so hard to get to this point.
After the initial opening, we all had a chance to get up on stage and say where our future paths take us. As I listened to the amazing accomplishments of my fellow colleagues, watching our pins fill a map across the country, two truths overwhelmed me: these feats are not our own, and much more is still required.
The first was obvious. You could look around the room and point to the people who had helped us achieve our dreams. For me, USCSOMG faculty and staff who had taught, mentored, and guided. Family and friends both here and abroad praying and supporting me long before this medical journey began. Parents who have sacrificially given for a lifetime, and a wife who has been my selfless anchor from the beginning. Match Day was possible for me because the love of many enabled the dreams of one. I could stand tall on that podium with letter in hand only because my roots go deep.
My first thought inevitably led to my second. I was indeed living a moment exemplifying what I had written over 4 years ago before starting medical school: “To whom much is given, much more will be required.” Even here, at the pinnacle of medical school, looking around at a packed room at only a fraction of the people who gave of themselves to get us here, I felt the immense responsibility our achievements come coupled with.
In less than a few months we will be doctors. People will look to us for answers, guidance, and compassion. We will be expected to know our craft and know it well. Numerous individuals and institutions have invested heavily in us, and we can not fail them. We must not.
To our supporters: thank you, although that can never do your sacrifice justice. To my fellow classmates: well done, congratulations on overcoming all that medical school threw at us. To myself: you have been given much, and much more is still required. Never forget that.
God, give me the strength to return tenfold that which has been invested in me.
Thank you all for reading the 4 a.m. thoughts of an excited soon-to-be physician.
Formerly from the Baltimore area, I graduated from Bob Jones University with a degree in pre-med. Having interacted through MedEx with the faculty and students, I knew the doctor USCSOMG wanted to graduate was the doctor I wanted to become. If I’m not hitting the books, you can probably find me spending time with my better half or on the basketball court. It is an honor and a privilege to be a member of the class of 2018, and I’m excited to share my passion for global health, children’s health, and health education with my peers. “To whom much is given, much more shall be required.”
Copyright 2014 USC School of Medicine Greenville