Dear Future Patient,
The library is cold and silent late on a Friday night and my body and mind are tired but, I think of you and I know you are worth it.
I shuffle into the hospital parking garage, sit in my car, and look around at the piles of lunch receipts and empty energy drinks. I don’t know when I’ll have the stamina to clean it but, I think of you and I know you are worth it.
When I’m finally home and fast asleep, persistent dreams of muscle fibers and innervations fill my mind. When I wake up, I’m reminded of learning this all for you and I remember that you are worth it.
Honestly, this week I’ve really struggled to find the pulse of the femoral artery on my classmates who do not enjoy being palpated in the groin but, when I think of you, I know you are worth all any humiliation.
In the Anatomy lab my gurgling stomach reminds me that I forgot to eat dinner last night. The library cafeteria was closed and my lunchbox was empty but, I remember you and I know you are worth it.
My classes are hard today and I wonder if my school made a mistake in accepting me. I do not think I cannot handle the rigor of this cardiac physiology so I begin to silently sob in my cubicle. But, an image of your broken heart in need of healing enters my head and I remember that you are worth it.
This morning my financial aid advisor explained to me that every dollar I spend with my student loans will accumulate to over $3 by the time I can ever afford to pay it off. But I buy the ‘eighty five’ dollar pizza anyways and continue my efforts; because you’re still worth it.
The leaves have begun to fall so my friends are drinking pumpkin spice and going to football games, I see their colorful photos on my Instagram as I take a short study break in the library; but I’m still here for you because to me, you are worth it.
I’m cold and lonely today, thinking of my family far away enjoying a sweet potato and gravy feast. I look back to my veggie burrito and embryology lecture because home is too far away and when I think of you; yes, you are always worth it.
The whiteboard markers just stopped working and I spilled my drink down my new jacket. In frustration I sink down to the floor where I’m met with the scratchy library carpet. I think of you again, for you this terrible day is worth it.
Today I must say goodbye to the donor who invited me to learn about the anatomical intricacies which weave together your fibers bit my bit. I’m heartbroken to leave her
because I have learned so much and am not ready to bid adieu. But it means I’m one step closer to healing you, so I it’s worth it.
Highlighter striking against the pages of my textbook, do I really need to know this all? My brain is full, my arms are weak. But what if you need to know this information from me one day? I think. So I pick up the book and learn some more because for you, this is all worth it.
I met the two unluckiest of friends this morning in the pediatric autopsy ward; their small bodies not even given a day to live on this earth. Feeling the pain of their loss continues to remind me how important it is that I keep going because you will certainly be worth it.
My heart was filled today as delightful little patients shared their story of courage, loss, and combat against their mutant genomes. They remind me of you; I hope I learned from them today enough for the day where I am there with you fighting the battles. Yes, this day I knew once again that you are worth it.
Snow fell today, softly at first but violently accelerated. As I observed the emergency room fill with victims of the icy roads, I can’t help but think of you. I will learn all I can because one day you will look to me for help and you will be worth it all.
The colorful pens hit my planner for the fourth time today, searching for a blank space to pencil in more study time. I wouldn’t have it any other way, this is for you, and it is worth it.
I knew this road would be long, hard, lonely, and discouraging at times. But it brings me resolute joy knowing that one day I will meet you and be there for you in a way that nobody else can. To me, you are worth everything. I care about you, I see you, I hope to help you through the most vulnerable moments. Although I do not yet have the proper skills or knowledge, I have dedicated my life to learning from the brilliant minds who came before me. But, when it comes my time to hold your hand and lead you on a path of healing, believe me when I say, you will be worth it all.
I sincerely can’t wait to meet you.
A first-year medical student