Take the opportunity to help those behind you on the journey. You have talents and resources that those just starting out crave. If you found any value in the struggle and challenges of your professional or personal journey, I encourage you to share it widely.
Adopt A Med Student
Med school was a different animal back nearly 20 years ago when I came through the ranks. I look back with fond memories and a bit of trepidation. Times were tough and finances non-existent. I recall living on carrots, saltines and diet coke for weeks on end. For some unknown reason, I kept a box of fruit bars I routinely at. These gems were $1.29 for a box of 10. I even made a video about it.
My point is that any small charitable event made all the difference. As an alumni, I am pleased to participate in this program and help and am sharing a letter I wrote to my adopted med student as she prepares to start an incredible journey.
Welcome to the start of an incredible journey!
These next four years of medical school will be challenging, rewarding and fun. Yes – Fun! Time will quickly sail by but be sure to enjoy every day. Resist the temptation to wish time away to get to the next phase of your training as it will arrive soon enough. Give yourself small rewards and celebrate small success along the way as next four years will challenge you in many ways.
I recall fond memories during my time at UND and forged friendships for life. Keep an open and inquisitive mind as you pack seemingly infinite material into your mind. Powerful forces of innovation and technologic advance will change the way you practice medicine. Develop close relationships with your faculty, preceptors and attending physicians and seek out those on the forefront of change. One such physician, Peter Diamandis, is someone I encourage you to follow. Read (or listen on Audible like I do) to his book: Abundance – The Future is Better Than You Think. There will be endless opportunities in your future for patient care, research, administration, entrepreneurship, and innovation. You are certain to have an amazing future.
Take pride in your education and I know you will find yourself at the top of any residency program. The small class size and intimate relationships give you a distinct advantage. Many of my classmates, myself included, became chief residents of their respective residency programs. The work ethic and solid medical foundation of UND students are legendary.
Congratulations and good luck,
Mitchel Schwindt, M.D., FAAEM
UND Class of 1998