April 21, 2017 was a day that I had been waiting for since I started medical school: my white coat ceremony. At my school, you complete basic sciences and then upon completion, you receive your white coat. When I got notice that I passed all my basic science classes, it didn’t feel real to me. It didn’t feel like 5 semesters of hard work and stress had paid off yet. I still felt like I was going to go home for break and come back to start fresh in a new semester. When I was getting ready for the ceremony with my friends, it felt like a college graduation of sorts – being completely done with school. However, my white coat ceremony marks only the beginning of my medical career.
Earning my white coat means that I completed the basic sciences portion of medical school – the “book work” and classroom portion of school. My next step is to move to Chicago to complete a semester called “Advanced Introduction to Clinical Medicine (AICM)”, which is essentially a review course of everything I covered in basic sciences. This semester will also help prepare me for the USMLE Step 1 Exam, which is the first licensing exam of many that I need to complete before earning my medical degree.
As I sit here on my porch reflecting on my time here on the island, I’m proud of myself for making it this far. It has not been an easy road. I’ve encountered some of the most challenging moments of my life here, but what’s important is that I made it through them and came out stronger. I am equipped with so much knowledge and am this much closer to reaching my dreams of being a physician. Seeing my white coat with my name on it meant a lot to me, and showed me that my hard work is paying off, slowly but surely.