Day 59: 400 Day Running Challenge Thoughts: Believe it until …

There is a common phrase I always hear – Fake it until you make it.
In medicine, I feel this phrase is spoken all too often –
First day of school: stress, overload, imposter syndrome – “Fake it until you make it”
First day of Residency: Oh shit, I am a doctor now, don’t ask me hard questions – “Fake it until you make it”
First day after Residency: Wait, there isn’t an attending any more, you mean I am in charge? – “Fake it until you make it”
It is a phrase we hear all too often – and for good reason. Medicine is hard, it is overbearing at times. There is a lot to learn and it can be overwhelming; especially when we are trying to learn everything as fast as possible. Just keep faking it and eventually you will make it.
Well this morning on my run, I was contemplating on this idea – I was trying to figure out where this phrase came from when I started to think, what if instead we believe it until we become it.
Now I know the dogmatic trait in each of us will say – you have to be humble in medicine – believing you are good enough only fosters arrogance and prevents you from taking the time to learn and grow. Well, I think too often premed students and medical students feel they can not make a difference. I remember a patient once whom I sat with for over 30 minutes and just talked to about their home life. Sure, I knew I didn’t know enough to diagnose them or treat them properly, but in those 30 minutes, I believed that being there and talking with them, was the best use of my time because I could potentially use that information to help understand any additional stressors in their life. We as students, have to believe that small acts, can make lasting impacts. And so yes, maybe I didn’t help them directly, but I believed I could and I potentially changed their view on what a physician is. I was able to show them what it means to be a caring physician and I showed them why taking the time can go a long way. So my challenge to everyone is to believe it until you become it.
Believe you can make a difference, and believe you have the ability to learn something about your patient that a busy intern, resident or physician may miss. Believe you are going to be able to learn everything you study. Believe that you are going to be able to focus for 10 hours straight while studying in the library.
You may not be there yet, but just remember that every professional, was once an amateur that never quit.

Hi! I am a third-year medical student and third-year PhD candidate with a passion for innovation, biomedical research, medical education, healthcare policy, biotechnology, nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. I am a bit of a non-traditional student as you can see from my personal bio. I am a host of medical podcast and the owner of an admission company focused on helping students get into the school of their dreams. I love educating and giving back so if you have questions feel free to email me!

What do you think?