Jan 1, 2022

Amita Sastry MD’24

am i really any wiser?
i know but a few facts i can barely call my own
all things i remember by chance. 
i thought it would be so much harder
but i also thought it would be so much easier.
compassion wasn’t inherent
and empathy was something i had to mark off on a checklist. since when did i become so uniform?
my patients are none the wiser;
to them i’m simply a medical student
a learner
a child
to myself i’m a professional.
i don’t yet know what that means
and i don’t know if i can hold myself to a standard that those wiser than me
smarter than me
humbler than me
hold themselves to.  

one of these days, i’m sure i will feel like i belong. about a year ago, a fish out of water
i predicted that by this time 
i would have my bearings.
maybe i do, but i still feel like i’m floundering. 
memories of when i wasn’t a professional, 
and when i still thought of myself 
as young 
float around this place and stick themselves to me like i’m where they belong. 
i have yet to separate myself 
develop a septation 
from who i was just two years ago. 
there was no line drawn between 
the time i could make mistakes 
and when time ran out 
i was none the wiser.  

i learned the hard way. 
lots of things are different now. 
my white coat is too big for my body, but still hangs in my closet.
everything is a diagnosis, and nothing is casual. 
my name is attached to an unfamiliar title.
do you feel like that too? 
the words can’t even fall out of my mouth, 
because that’s not professional,
you are confident in who you are, and there’s no room for doubt.

ms2 is a snapshot of the internal dilemmas faced by a second year medical student. Over the past few months, I’ve often found myself struggling to feel that I’m adequately filling the role of a medical student, specifically one who’s supposed to have a year of experience and skill under her belt. Here, I explore the daily thoughts and mundane observations associated with that feeling. The work is meant to be representative of individual conflict, yet abstract enough to be generalized to the experience of any medical student regardless of training year, location, etc.

Amita Sastry

Brown Medical School - Class of 2024

Amita Sastry is a second-year medical student (MD24) who loves to fill her free time with poetry, crossword puzzles, and Blue State Coffee.