Reflection Outside of the Classroom

I spent Thanksgiving evening on the floor of my mother’s one bedroom apartment, carving out pieces of turkey seasoned like chicken masala while swirling endless amounts of whip cream on home baked pumpkin pie. Amidst the gnawing and munching, bursts of roars would erupt as we became increasingly competitive in the ongoing game of ludo (South Asian version of Parcheesi). I was surrounded by old and new family, with a broad grin plastered on my face.

There was so much to be grateful for.

I know that I will be returning to class this coming week with a rejuvenated soul. These past weeks had become gradually more and more burdensome as I struggled to get through the drudgery of medical school work while losing focus of my initial intentions for entering the profession. Feeling demotivated, I was falling further and further behind.

My college education had strengthened what life experiences and my mom had already instilled in me – the need to dedicate my life to redressing social injustices. As a Women’s & Gender Studies major, I immersed myself in feminist scholarship and embarked on a journey of questioning and dismantling all paradigms I had assumed to be fundamental truths. One of these paradigms entailed the perception that a lack of social mobility for some communities existed solely due to an inadequate work ethic. It was such a naive conclusion that was fed to me as far back as I can remember – with U.S. history teachers clamoring about the greatness of my nation being based on the principle of “pulling yourself by the bootstraps.” However, my last four years were spent in an environment with highly encouraging professors and like-minded peers who all recognized that with privilege (such as an Ivy League education) comes the responsibility to engage in civic work. Engagement with communities that avoids any elements of self-aggrandizement or co-optation was an ideal I sought to continuously strive for moving forward in my career…

Read full article originally published on Aspiring Docs Diaries

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