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Within the first week of medical school, I heard that same phrase somewhere between one and fifty times. Each time, I thought to myself “You’re wrong. You don’t know me.”


Four years later, I have discovered how wrong I was and how little I knew about myself and the world around me.


 

The day a woman decides to pursue medicine is an important day. For some, the day occurred years ago. For others, it is a day in the not-too-distant past and, I suppose for some reading this, it is a day still in the future. Regardless of individual circumstance, the day a woman decides that medicine is a dream worth working for is a day to be remembered.


 

At my medical school it is not uncommon to run across a sturdy handful of Mormons in each class. However, nearly all are male and most are married.  I have surprised quite a few people when I nonchalantly bring up my time living in Utah. They ask, “Why were you in Utah?” and “Aren’t you from New England?” I then explain that I went to Brigham Young University.  “Wait--you’re Mormon?” The pieces start to fall into place, “But aren’t you from New England?”  The conversations are incredibly circular as people try to stretch their minds around a new demographic they did not realize existed. Stereotypes break.   

If you say “torn” loudly enough you can hear the onomatopoeia.  That’s how I feel today, that sharp edge of syntax, on the eve of what might have been my match day.  Tomorrow at noon all of my classmates will open their envelopes and find out where they will be for the next several years.  Then in June they will wear the fancy robes and walk the aisle to become doctors, while I will remain my slow pipetting-march to carpal tunnel.  We suffered two years together with few distinctions, but now there is a chasm dividing us. 

Hi! I am Kathryn, I am a first year osteopathic student. My decision to go into medicine came as a surprise, even to me. I had always loved medicine and would even tell people that my dream career was to be a physician but I never thought it would actually happen. My biggest goal was (and is) to become a mother. After growing up in a loving house where my mom was a full-time stay-at-home mom, I really wanted to give my children the same kind of environment. I married my best friend who was already accepted to a medical school. As we prepared to move, my husband, Josh, and I felt inspired that I should also apply to the same school.

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