They say you can tell the inexperience of a med student by the weight of their white coat. Pockets are stuffed with reference books, note cards, snacks, stethoscopes and a myriad of other tools. There is one tool in particular I have been wearing since starting med school – a mask. Throughout my first year, I was waiting for someone to tell me that my acceptance was a clerical mix up. “You don’t actually belong here,” they’d say. But there I stayed, making my way through. By the end of my 2nd year, that mask I wore began to lose its purpose and I was prepared to put it away for good. Now, more than ever, starting out on clinical rotations, with my inexperience, heavy white coat and all, I feel I am an imposter all over again. I suspect, as it did in the past, this feeling will fade but in the meantime while I fumble through surgery, I may need a bigger mask (and perhaps a nap).
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