Essential Wisdom: Inspiring Future Female Physicians

Katherine Vaillancourt, MS-4 - Family Medicine

January 23, 2020 Carrie Dubeau Season 1 Episode 10
Essential Wisdom: Inspiring Future Female Physicians
Katherine Vaillancourt, MS-4 - Family Medicine
Chapters
Essential Wisdom: Inspiring Future Female Physicians
Katherine Vaillancourt, MS-4 - Family Medicine
Jan 23, 2020 Season 1 Episode 10
Carrie Dubeau

A conversation with a fourth-year medical student discussing advice for the third and fourth years of medical school! 

Show Notes Transcript

A conversation with a fourth-year medical student discussing advice for the third and fourth years of medical school! 

spk_0:   0:04
hello and welcome to essential wisdom. Inspiring future of female physicians. My name is carried Bo, and I'm 1/4 year medical student at the Frank H. Netter, MD. School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University. I'm so excited that you decided

spk_1:   0:19
to tune

spk_0:   0:20
in for this episode on Thursday of essential wisdom. Today is a bit of a unique episode. It's been an exciting one to record, and I'm thrilled to share with you. This is a conversation with Katherine Val in court, who is a fellow fourth year medical student at the Net or School of Medicine. You'll hear us discuss some of the challenges and benefits of your third year of medical school, as well as some advice that comes along with what it takes to get to this point. So I hope you enjoy this conversation if you hear some birds tweeting in the background that Israel we recorded on a bright, sunny day. So consider that a little bit of extra happiness on top of our episode today. Thanks everyone. Catherine, welcome to essential wisdom. Thank you. The way that I like to begin these conversations just ask you to tell us about your past to becoming a female sedition slash medical seated.

spk_1:   1:16
Okay, So I, uh, before going to college didn't really know that I wanted to be a doctor. I had sort of, Ah, an idea that that might be something I was interested in. But actually, for a long time, I thought I was going to be a chef. Yeah, and so I Then I got to college and I decided that I would sort of work on the pre med stuff. And ultimately, I ended up doing a history degree at ah Liberal Arts College in Central Michigan, Alma College. And after that, I had a lot of opportunities during college and at the end of college, too. Go abroad and experience medicine in a lot of different countries. And when I got to Quinnipiac, how being gone through all of those experiences was pretty clear to me that medical life as a physician and just being with people in these very vulnerable moments of illness and health and well being was the place that I needed to be. And so now, Quinnipiac, it's just been mostly figuring out what type of doctor I wanted to be. And I've gone through a lot of it orations of that as I think, many medical students. D'oh! Um, even though at the beginning I was totally convinced that I would not be the student that changed her mind all the time. Scope. That's me.

spk_0:   2:39
I love that. Can you talk a little bit about your experience in college when you decided to study history and then how you became into the pre med past?

spk_1:   2:51
Sure. When I, um, started college, I was actually starting in the pre med past, so I decided I would take biology, and I just had this sort of side interest of really liking history. And being a liberal arts college was conducive Thio doing something outside of science at the same time as science. So I decided I would double major. And then after my first semester or so, I realized that the biology degree would require me to do a lot more botany that I was really wanting to d'oh So but But the history costs I was taking were really interesting and gave me a lot of time to think about how cultures and societies develop one are the things that sort of pushed push people thio act and come together and figure out what's important to them. So I decided in the end, to drop the biology major. And then with my history major, I was able to organize my schedule, such that I could just do the science that I needed to take the m cat and that I did other science classes that were interesting to me as electives, uh, and then worked on my history major, which didn't have a whole lot of requirements. It just had sort of a number of credits I needed to get to. And then I had the opportunity to do a thesis in history. So I studied 1/13 century guy who wrote about Christian and Muslim relations, which was really interesting, actually, and didn't have anything to do with medicine at all. But it really helped me with my research skills on my time management. So on top of being interesting, it has been really useful.

spk_0:   4:36
Yeah, so I run his perspective because I think this is a unique interview. Just because you're currently a medical seating, then only did this, you know, a few years back I thought of being, and I think about it often in college being like, Well, should I pursue what gets me toward an angle? Or should I pursue something that I truly enjoy and find interesting and academically exciting to me, even if it's not related to medicine? And I love that you're speaking about having done that all throughout college.

spk_1:   5:08
Thank you. Uh, so I I definitely don't want to leave out the fact that it was hard. It was really difficult to figure out what I needed to take when and to make sure that I had all of the classes I needed to succeed on the M Cat and to get into medical school because I think by sort of mid college, I knew that I really wanted to go to medical school, even if I didn't know how that would look. And the other part is that I had a really supportive community. So professors and my parents, and by then I was seriously dating someone who's now my husband. And everyone was just very supportive and very helpful to helping me get organized, helping me really discern which classes were important and when, and making choices that did include some compromises. So, for example, I didn't take immunology before going to med school. I didn't take a biochemistry before taking the M cat, and those are some compromises I definitely had to make. And I had to learn some of those things sort of in a catch up fashion. But I think ultimately I was able to do what I really loved. And I don't think doing what you really love has to be to the detriment of the saying. That is your ultimate goal. So as far as I was kind of alluding to before my history, Major has not been useless at all. It's been actually really enlightening and insightful, but I've been able to be more insightful, I think, with my patients, Uh, and with my classmates and I worked, I think I could work more collaboratively. And I can understand different perspectives, maybe a little more easily than someone who has never gone through the process of historical research.

spk_0:   6:52
Absolutely. And do you think that of you choose your career now? We were speaking before we got a call about family medicine. Do you think that some of that what you learned as a three major in terms of the collaboration and understanding of perspectives will really play a role in your family medicine career choice.

spk_1:   7:12
I think they will definitely play a role in my career choice. I think that s o I came to med school thinking I wanted to be an OBE. And after my O B rotation, which I really enjoyed, I recognize that the time with patients that I think I would have cut out of my residency application excusing your residency experience was sort of cut short by the time I would have to spend in the O. R for that training and then in pediatrics. I wasn't I thought about pediatrics for a while, and I wasn't really getting all of the hands on type of experiences that I wanted that I might now get with choosing family medicine. And I think if I kind of look back at that trajectory, uh, family medicine gives me a space, too. Use the skills that I got through my history, Major. But also I think is conducive to a lifestyle that I'm interested in and that I might sort of be able to incorporate more, uh, more tie time spent with doing some historical research or doing some sort of reading on my own or incorporating it into my practice than I would have. Maybe in another specialty. That's

spk_0:   8:31
it. I mean, exactly what you would dream of when you pick a career is that it can both developed the things that you have always loved and will continue to love and and then also meet the priorities that you said in your lifestyle. So for the women out there who are in college or medical school, I wonder if you could just talk on some of the things that you thank you had the work through the side for that direct affects each feels like What was the process of deciding upon your specialty over the last year?

spk_1:   9:04
That is Ah, that's a challenging question just because I

spk_0:   9:07
know

spk_1:   9:09
just because I think it's pretty individual, but I do. I do think there's value from hearing about another person's experience and kind of learning from taking what you what you could use from other people. And I've certainly done that from people who have been mentors to me, both women and men as well. And so starting out, I think the biggest thing I've had to wrestle with has been giving up this idea that I had in my head of how my life would look. And I think that's really scary because you it's really difficult to get into medical school, let alone to go through medical school. And so I think having this sort of ideal at the of what things will look like at the end is really satisfying. And really, it helps me be really driven, I think. But giving that, giving the picture of how things might look at the end, sort of giving it up and setting it aside and saying, Well, it might not look like this, but I know it's gonna be great and I know I'm gonna work towards a goal that's meaningful to me. Even if I can't really see all of the the nitty gritty details right now has been very helpful and it's taken a lot of time. But, um, after recognizing that, um, part of that part of settling into third and fourth year was taking each each block as it came and it really experiencing each specialty has also been very helpful, so it allowed me to really see that I liked surgery, and I liked the surgical aspects of O. B. But I didn't. I feel as though I wanted to spend all my time there and recognizing that I liked labor and delivery, and I liked managing patients in pre and post natal care. But I wanted to do more for them than I was doing an OBE and, I think, with pediatric. Similarly, I realized that I had the chance to do some of the things that I liked about Toby and some of the things I wasn't I wasn't able to do an O. B, but I still wasn't sort of fulfilling all of the things that I was hoping for, like interacting with people who had a lot of life experience the elderly, for example, or getting to do a lot of procedures, which I find really satisfying and really technically challenging. But not having to spend a lot of time in the O. R. So I think ultimately sort of finding your niche and recognizing that the millennial statement of you do you is I mean, it's kind of true. It's so cliche and it's kind of weird and it just it doesn't roll off the tongue. But it's actually really It's really helpful to kind of remember that that I have to do what I'm called to Dio. And in doing so, I will be able to contribute to the field of medicine and to hopefully make my patients Life's a little better.

spk_0:   12:16
Mmm, that's so good. And, uh, what you said in the beginning that you had to basically abandoned exactly what you were planning your life to be so strongly into my personal experience. And I'm sure the experiences so many other people, especially you transition to being like a 30 year, you know? And can you go into a rotation and you sit and you say, Well, this is the one I want to do And then, well, what if that changes by the end of the rotation? So I don't know. I just think that's a really important point that you made that in the process, you have to really be open saying I'm gonna wind up facing the past that I need to change and maybe not even chasing, maybe letting the past find me. But in the same time, I have to be able to give up what I may have imagined was going to be like the perfect plan.

spk_1:   13:05
Yes, perfect plans are not very helpful. And they really running a lot of anxiety.

spk_0:   13:14
They don't

spk_1:   13:16
They don't exist. It is. Yeah, but true. I mean, I would start every rotation, for example, my first, my 1st 30 rotation with surgery, and I got there and it was 4 35 o'clock in the morning and I was tired, and I was, but I was seeing patients, and I loved seeing the patients early in the morning. They were always so happy that you were checking on them. And you want to see their progression after surgery before and after surgery and kind of see their wounds heal literally on the place where you cut them open, you could see their insides in the O. R. And I thought for a second, you know, Wow, this is actually really great. And then sort of letting that feeling wash over you is hard because it it's scary to think that Oh, my goodness. Maybe this to these two weeks I've had so far in my six weeks of surgery might change my whole life. But then, recognizing that just because you like something doesn't mean it has to be what you do forever. You can like something for that rotation and not have to commit to it. And that's how I would actually say that's really a privilege about medical school is you get to try a little bit of everything and learn a lot about yourself in the process.

spk_0:   14:25
This is so key, like learning about yourself, especially. I mean, this is every single year of medical school, right? First year, second year, third year, and then, you know, you and I will have to find out how we learn about ourselves fourth year. But I think that in third, especially you, you learn things that you didn't even know about yourself. If you've never been in these types of situations where you're working so many hours, you're up early. You're up late. You're up all night. Yes, I wonder if you could talk a little bit about being 1/3 year medical student, especially since I had this kind of aimed towards in our conversation people that are in college who might be wondering like, Oh, what do you really do? 30 years you are you willing to talk a little bit about that

spk_1:   15:03
Absolutely. 30 year was by far one of the most difficult yet rewarding times of medical school because I spent so much time commuting to and from hospitals all throughout Connecticut, which is pretty cool. You got to see a lot of the state, but it's also a lot of driving. Uh, and you. I also said so much time, like running around hospitals completely lost, having to ask random strangers for directions. Sometimes those strangers were even patients, you know. So I'm not saying I'm not ashamed to say that. I think patients are actually one of our best teachers and third year. So I think for those of you who don't really know what medical schools are all about, you spend your 1st 2 years mostly in the classroom. You do a lot of book learning. You do a lot of power points and you take a lot of choice tests. And then in third year you get a chance to go through the different sort of mainstream parts of medicine, and you try out 64 to 6 week sort of many sessions in each of those areas. and you really get to act. You really get to act like a junior doctor in a lot of those rotations in some way or shape or form. So you get to see patients. You get to think about how you might take care of them. You get to propose ideas. Sometimes your ideas are right and sometimes they're totally wrong. But that's part of the process. And then you actually do get to start counseling patients. So you get to start talking to them about what their lab testing and how that might affect their life going forward and how they should take their medication and how they should follow up with you or with someone else. And I think that you're really just imbued in each of those specialties, and it's it's really it's really satisfying and it's it could be overwhelming. And it could be sort of thankless that sometimes because you do a lot of work that no one else wants to d'oh. But it's also really, I think I think one of the best parts of 30 year is recognizing that all this time that you've spent sort of leading up through college and through your first and second years of medical school and perhaps in your Gap year or got years or previous career. All of that time has been spent sort of making you into the person you are and making you very capable person to take care of patients. And so you really weren't, um, you really learn, uh, the skills that you have and the things that you need to work on. And it's really exciting because patients are really fun to be around. And most, most doctors are also really fun to be around.

spk_0:   17:56
In your experience of this year, was there anything that was particularly challenging because of your position? Because being a female,

spk_1:   18:09
I think the thing that came to mind versus yes, sometimes I was the only girl around, and that can be challenging just because not all females, I feel like they automatically sit in with a group of guys And just, I think for a lot of girls, you know, you don't We have a lot of questions. I think about cool. Am I gonna be a good doctor? Because what if I get too emotional about my patients? Or what if I can't separate my work life from my home life. And then I can't be with my spouse or my partner. Or I can't spend time with my siblings or my kids Or can I even have kids? And I think the other thing that shot that was challenging about third year being a female, is just trying to figure out all right how I am going to fit into this world that has been male dominated this world of medicine. I mean, not to say that the rest of the world hasn't been male dominated, but this particular in particular this world of medicine that's been male dominated and really kind of going in blind and not necessarily knowing very much about the pay discrepancies and the fact that men are promoted more often than women and the fact that most hospitals are run by men and the fact that a lot of hospital departments are run by men as you know very well. So I think that was particularly challenging, and I think also, um, kind of going back to what I said before, sometimes being the only female in the room. Also, that just sort of lend itself to not having a lot of female mentors to kind of I see Look up to which I think is why this project has been so helpful for me is kind of hearing while other women have done and how they've coped with that.

spk_0:   20:07
Okay, Do you think that part of that difficulty lies in just not having somebody to emulate, you know?

spk_1:   20:16
Yes. Yeah, I think I think in part it does lie and have not having someone to emulate. I think that our school in particular Quinnipiac does a very good job of I'm having a balanced faculty in a balanced, um, pool of of doctors, that tea just in clinical settings. And that's been useful. And I also think that as our society and our culture becomes more aware of these issues, that inequality between men and women, that that's been helpful as well.

spk_0:   20:53
30 A. Really. In many ways, each experience is so formative that it can impact your impression of the seal The nice, I think for good or for bad. In a way,

spk_1:   21:07
I would agree. I think that where your placement is is not always up to you. And yeah, I might not always be the one you hoped for, and that can really give you, ah, difficult impression of that specialty or a really great impression of that specialty. But and I think I've talked to some of our classmates about that, and I think a lot of them. A lot of people who have talked to really struggle with saying, Well, I don't know that I really got a good sense of of family medicine, for example, or that I got a really good sense of pediatrics because I didn't have the placement that I thought was the the best. And so I think that as 1/3 year, something that you can think about is Did I get a good look at the specialty? And if I did okay, do I have enough to make a decision about it? And if I didn't, what can I do in my fourth year to make sure that I get the look at the specialty that I need to get? And I think that's where you can go to your your school and your people in your school. Who you who help you plan your rotations or your career advisor on your mentors and say look, I think I need to have a little bit more time in pediatrics to figure out if I really like pediatrics, which is sort of what happened to me and same in family medicine. I didn't necessarily have bad experiences and either, but I didn't feel like I had well enough rounded experience to make a decision. And so part of the first part of my fourth year was getting a little bit of a rotation in pediatrics and then getting another little bit of a rotation in family so that I could see them again and make a more informed decisions. So just because I guess I would advocate, don't let one experience negatively or positively necessarily. I'm totally still you on something. It's It's okay not to know by the beginning of fourth year, and people decide even in September or even after they submit residency applications and managed to become doctors. Still, So it's okay.

spk_0:   23:16
What's really important advice. Thank you for sharing that. Just switch gears a little bit. The things people really enjoy about being a woman that's going to be a doctor this in medical school, like, what are some of the highlights for you.

spk_1:   23:31
Oh, that's a good one. Uh, some of the highlights have been and I think we'll continue to be this the sense that I understand a lot of what all women go through. I understand what it's like to, uh, be a woman who is in a male dominated field, which a lot of our patients are because a lot of fields are male dominated. And I also think that, for example, I've had patients just last week. Actually, I, uh, am in my family a family medicine rotation right now. And I had a patient disclosed domestic violence to me, and she said afterwards she was crying and she was sort of kind of giving a sigh of relief at the end of the conversation. And she said, You know, I have a regular doctor, the one you're working with, and I've never told him about that, and I've known him for years, and I just sort of looked at her in surprise. And she said, I told you, because you're a woman, because I feel like a woman can understand me and won't judge me. And so I think I didn't I don't think I even realized that I was in that position until last week. But I am so excited Teoh be there for other women in that in that position because and I don't know what that's like. But I know that I can walk along with someone in that experience and do my best to help them with whatever they need and make sure that they're healthy. And it was just a real It was really eye opening and really special.

spk_0:   25:20
Well, I can't even imagine that a fourth year medical Amazing.

spk_1:   25:25
It was this. It was very surprising. And I I wasn't acting. It s so I really had to use a lot of my lot of the things that I learned in 30 or to make sure that I didn't show that surprise on my face. Yeah, but it was It was It was impressive. And it was really it was It was a privilege,

spk_0:   25:47
beautiful in terms of how you set priorities. What's the what's the process for you of deciding? Oh, well, you know, right now it's career first. And then what will be a set up?

spk_1:   26:01
I think my process is always changing. I don't I think that the way I would describe my processes iterated. So just, uh, always re evaluating my priorities. And I don't mean to say that I'm obsessive about them because I think that could really get in your way as well. But I think just always holding in the back of your mind that you have to be flexible and you might have to change because, as we were saying before, things don't always go the way you plan. And sometimes you're scheduled to work for certain hours and you end up staying longer. You end up seeing a shorter amount of time and trying to realize the people in your life who are supporting you through the medical school process understand that. And they especially could understand it if you talk to them about it. And from the communication has really been key to study my priorities as well. With my husband and my parents and even just with friends and other people, like even just between the two of us, we had to really communicate about Well, what are the times when we can spend more time together as friends? And what are the times when we can do you think that there are other friends, it's groups. And I think on top of that, recognizing that my priorities are different than someone else's has been humble. Just because people ask things of me like, uh, do you wantto go to this party or do you wanna go out to dinner or do you wanna go to the beach, read everything? But I can't always say yes to those things, and that's okay and no one remembering that. No one thinks less of you because you have to choose your priorities that are right for you. And so I think that's what that's been really hopeful. And I think it's also when you can talk to your friends about it and sort of work through some of the things that, when you don't know how to set your priorities is is very exciting to because we're all going through the same thing

spk_0:   28:03
together. Yeah, I want a piggyback on one of the things you said specifically that we in the process of communicating, we also have to make an effort, a concerted effort to say okay,

spk_1:   28:16
what are we gonna

spk_0:   28:17
actually sometimes being front and not talking about school or

spk_1:   28:20
you know, things

spk_0:   28:22
like laughable

spk_1:   28:23
when you think about

spk_0:   28:24
it from the outside perspective of like, Are you serious this time? Would you like a friend? But when you're

spk_1:   28:29
so crazy trying to figure

spk_0:   28:31
out 30 or fourth year what you're doing next, it's easy to really forget how to spend time just being friends. Yeah, I just wanted to send a moment talking about that process of scheduling time. The friends airfield. Close your eyes through our own developments.

spk_1:   28:47
Yes, I think that has been critical for both of us and then for other friends. We have to, I think, just like in any other profession that's demanding. If you don't try, you're not gonna end up with any friends in your life. Harold are busy doing their thing you're gonna do busy doing your thing and you're not gonna remember each other. So I think that making time to grease around is critical. And I think recognizing that it's gonna happen flow and that that totally normal, like, honestly, it's like when we were doing her psych rotation. We could send like ours together every week, and that's not to say that's like was easy because it wasn't I want, but it's not. But it is to say that a different time, uh, call for different amounts of, uh, friend time.

spk_0:   29:53
This is Peggy back again. Just you keep saying things that I'm like. Oh, yes, this is an important point for a college junior medical students trying to use the knees of a rotation is not necessarily the same for everyone.

spk_1:   30:07
Definitely, that is absolutely true. So dip rotations for people who might not really have a good grasp on this is different. Locations have different requirements, and it's different at every med school, which is super helpful right now. But most most of them have some, some similar. Using that you have to do some sort of test at the end of many of them. You have to do like you have thio be capable in the clinical setting, so you'll get some sort of evaluation from the people that you work with. And then you have to be able Thio show that you're acting professional manner, and so you have those sort of sort of like three main categories, and there may be like a

spk_0:   30:54
fourth or you have to do a presentation. You have to

spk_1:   30:56
do a a practice patient and you're graded on your notes. Um, but ultimately each of them have different time requirements. Each of them have different shift department. Each of them have different commute requirements. Each of them have different styles of teaching. Each of them have different types of patients, and some of those are easy for you. And some of them are harder and it's different for everyone. And I think that also speaks to how you study in that school. And I think it just is just a continuation of how you study in 30 years how you study in person, second here, and it has to be very into the doors and you have to figure it out. It's not something that necessarily super obvious, and so you can ask for all the advice you want. But ultimately you have to figure out what works for you and stick to it. So, for example, I know a lot of our costume. It spend a lot of time doing like a bunch of practice questions before our third and fourth exams, and I would say that practice questions for

spk_0:   32:00
me are more like 50% of what I do You study, but fine. Absolutely, Absolutely. And you bring up on important point to say that, um, how you study is not only a reflection of, you know, knowing yourself at the time, but it's an understanding of who you are as a student over time, like how you studied in college. Can you bring elements of that and what you do now or how you studied in first in second year? How much of that can you bring into what you're doing now? Because really, as a human being, you're such a culmination of all of your experiences and each of those speakers. Exactly. We're staying in the beginning, too, buddy. Those makes you so much better. So then use all of that understanding of yourself and how you speed to enhance the way that you performed during each of your rotation,

spk_1:   32:50
right? And it's really cool to see how that sort of changes and get and takes form over time. And it's it's nice to see and your classmates also, because you can learn from each other, and you can also, this is something to ask your mentor about too. So I know I've gotten some really great advice about not taking tons of notes and not reading this textbook. But reading that textbook and we're not reading a certain text will get all and studying from some something else or some online source. And that's been really, really helpful and really nice to just kind of see that. Okay, I've made it this far, and I kind of have an idea of how to do this. And I'm I'm still able to work and figure things out as I go along and and I don't have to know all at the beginning.

spk_0:   33:40
Yeah, you know. And what you're saying two is 30 year on board. Here are like that years of, like information overload like here's 25 bucks you can use. We have free online. Resource is you got videos you could watch, like Wow, how lucky are we being this generation of medicine where we have so many resources but also like, know what worked for you so that you are confident and using that research for yourself. And don't second guess it because, like you're saying, you are you and nobody else can define how you need to study. So yes, what's for making overload?

spk_1:   34:16
It's a totally new thing also to realize that you're not gonna know everything. A lot of us who went toe, who went to college and studied science were ableto study everything before the test, get through all the notes and get through all of the book chapters that we needed to get through and get through all the practice us that the teacher handed out. And that is not the case that meant school ever. So it's very uncomfortable at first, but by the end, it's a little less uncomfortable. And it's it's kind of liberating as well, because when you're you realize when you're a real doctor, you're going to be able to look things up. And so, knowing that you don't knowing when you don't know, it's just a CZ important as knowing what you know.

spk_0:   34:59
Yeah, that comes in handy. Even in clinical rotations. I mean, really kind. Of course, sir, when you're sitting and thinking about a patient, just ask a question. If you don't know, you know, I don't really like managed tone.

spk_1:   35:12
Definitely, definitely. Just asked

spk_0:   35:15
if you could get one piece of advice. Thio somebody who's in college preparing for medical school. What would be

spk_1:   35:23
the best advice that I could give is to find something that makes you excited about going into medicine and find something that you feel passionate about and use that to help you get to where you want to go. So I would say for me that was realizing that I was really interested in delivering babies. I thought that that was the coolest thing in the world and I was going to spend the rest of my life doing that. And now I'm not. I may deliver babies as a family medicine doctor, who knows? And it doesn't matter that I've had to change my mind. What matters is that I learned that about myself, and I really leveraged it to no to show how interested I was in being in medicine and to kind of stand out because there are so many great people applying to medical school that it is scary about whether or not you might get in or not get in or have to apply multiple times, and that happens to tons of really great students. And so it's nothing to be ashamed about. And so just continuing to remember. I have things that I'm passionate about. I have things that make me interesting. And I'm gonna keep working at it until I achieve the goals that I want. I think is the best advice. Oh, and just the other part of that advice is that you can't do that on your own. You have to really find who supports you in doing that and lean on them and ask for help. So for me, that was my parents, my husband and his family and my professors and my friends at college. And I think people have different sources for that for that support. And I think just figuring out who that is for you and it doesn't have to be anyone that knows anything about medical school. I mean, I think you should have one or two of those people, because that's useful. But ultimately, anyone who makes you feel great about being you is just really helpful to lean on.

spk_0:   37:34
I love the sentiments that let your passion drive you, but if your passion changes its okay, definitely yes. And that's so important for everybody that even like you just said, you know, getting into medical school is this old process, you know, And that is not what this podcast is about today. But getting into medical school itself. If it doesn't work out the first time, you know this smart way that we all go about our applications and our process of life is to step back and reevaluate. You know, look at what you're doing and look at what you want to dio and then look at it with a fresh eye and just say Okay, What What are my passions and how do I let those drives me? And how does that direct my goal?

spk_1:   38:16
Definitely. And realizing that you don't have to take a straight past I mean, I think from what we've said so far, people might get the impression that my path to med school was extremely straight. And I would say that it is traditional. I went to college and then I went to med school it and take a gap year. But in between, there were a lot of things where my path was kind of crooked and I kind of had to go around speed bumps and I had to go through challenges, and I'm certain that other people have had a more difficult time or a time that had more of those speed bumps or sidestep through challenges. But everyone has those things that they go through. So don't let that get you down.

spk_0:   38:56
Mmm. And then on that back when you tell your story, what if you're as an applicant or just as a human being to your friends? This is something I've learned throughout my process. Used to be proud of each of the steps you took and that was above all that will make you a complete applicant or person or doctor. So you understand and appreciate what you've done, you know?

spk_1:   39:23
Yes. And that's what I've heard, uh, continuing into third and fourth year when people have said this is the best advice I can give to you for getting into residency that you want or getting into the job that you want at the end of residency is just be who you are and, uh, let that shine through and your applications and make sure that people really know who you are for for those things, because that's what makes you you and you have to go through life like that so I know it may be It just sounds super simplistic. But it's true.

spk_0:   39:58
No, it toe Let that element of you are not the deterred by the process of hitting the checkpoint. Yes, because we have a lot of play. We hit, you know, you still love

spk_1:   40:11
each other

spk_0:   40:11
later. I have to get their undergrad. You're like, OK, I got this thing. Whether it's a bachelor of science, they're bastards and some other things. Get your degree right. You get through undergrad, and then you're like, Oh, no, I still don't get it. You're like, Oh, no. After completely applications, I have to get a letter of recommendation. I have to do these things and to be honest with you and I don't want to sound like dark, gloomy human over here. But I just don't really ever go away in the process in an action of being a doctor because we'll always be checking boxes. That says, Hey, I'm from Philly. You know the requirements to see this number of patients or take my boards on time and all these things like they don't go away. But what we do in this process of growth has become more aware of house you. It'll be ourselves in, like, a linear manner while hitting the checkpoints. So just not to let your personal story get lost in that too, you know?

spk_1:   40:59
Right? And I think the other thing I've learned sort of moving from third year to fourth year that goes along with this process is there are other people out there in the world who you will find that are just your people. And I was told that multiple times by different different mentors and different people in medicine and I was like, Well, that is so corny. I Yet right? And then and I got it. I did my family medicine rotation. I thought, Wow, I really like this. And then I am doing another family medicine rotation now on else I realized the other day I think I found my people. And I think I think that it's really helpful to know that you will find what you need to find and you'll find who you need to find. And it's It's a really exciting process, and you just have to kind of use into it and know that things will come together.

spk_0:   42:04
Doctor, Anything?

spk_1:   42:06
Yes, trust your instincts.

spk_0:   42:09
Yeah, I think we should just wrap it up there. I think this has been such an enlightening conversation. I really hope has a lot of good advice for people were anticipating their career or their path into medical school. So thank you, Kathryn, for coming on for sharing all of your boss. And your heartfelt experience has

spk_1:   42:25
been really wonderful. You're welcome. Thank you so much for having me. It's been really fun.

spk_0:   42:30
Thank you so much, Katherine, for coming to share your heart, Your story in your advice on essential wisdom inspiring future female physicians. I really enjoyed having this conversation this time to reflect on what it was like to be a 1st 2nd and third year medical student from the perspective of midway through our fourth year. So I just really appreciate you taking the time to speak with me and to share all that you did with the listeners and to the listeners out there. Thank you for continuing to tune in. It's been so wonderful to share the stories of so many marvellous women, and I hope that you are not only enjoying but just benefiting from this as much as I am. So I hope that you guys have a great week and are able to tune in with us next week for two more installments of essential wisdom.