Boonshoft Blogs

A Year in Review
Brent D. Schnipke ’18
June 12, 2015

Having finished a whole year of medical school, I am feeling a mix of emotions; fatigue is near the top of that list. This has been the longest year of school I've ever had - from the end of July straight through until early June. As I've told many family and friends, I love school and learning as much as the next guy (probably more than the next guy, truth be told) which is a big reason why I chose medicine as a career; I knew that I could handle the schoolwork and that I would make a good student. Even so, 10 months of school, especially at the pace of medical school, would tire anyone. I am extremely grateful for the 2 month summer vacation that we are offered; I am looking forward to working on several personal projects, as well as just having additional time to relax with family and friends.

Despite feeling worn out at the end of a long school year, I have been pleasantly surprised to find myself refreshed and renewed in purpose as I study medicine. I am realizing how much more bearable school is when seen through the lens of the end goal. Medicine is a career about helping others, and the world desperately needs good, loving doctors (and people in general). When my studies weigh me down, I think of the people that I will someday, hopefully, help to heal. This makes it easier to get through the long days. I am very excited to do some shadowing and volunteering this summer, which I hope will refresh me even more and remind me why I chose this profession. So for now, cheers to finishing a year of school! 

This Long and Exciting Journey
Brent D. Schnipke ’18
March 1, 2015

Although my goal in this blog is to provide the perspective of a first year medical student, I realize that it is already March, and that almost three-fourths of my first year is already over. How quickly time passes is a cliché idea, but I have personally never felt it to be more true than I do this year. It truly seems like the weeks and months since acceptance to medical school, convocation, and beginning the first class to now have been artificially put on double speed (much like I do with many of my professors’ lectures…but that’s a different story). I simply can’t believe how quickly this year has passed.

And yet, so much has happened that I feel like a different person, in many ways, than I was last July. Besides all the “active” learning that has taken place – the textbooks read, notes written, classes attended, skills practiced, tests taken – there has been a certain amount of passive learning as well, as there is in all stages of life. Simply being immersed in the world of medicine has opened my mind to concepts and value systems previously foreign to me. Part of my goal in writing, especially this blog, is to sort through the complex ideas presented in medical school, as much for my benefit as for those who may stumble upon my ramblings.

So far, what I love most about medicine is its place in the world; it is the crux of my education so far, and is sufficiently challenging, but is also an obviously worthwhile pursuit. It is founded upon research and evidence and is rooted squarely in the biological sciences; yet it is the point where the sciences must meet humanity. It is not enough to study constantly or live in a lab or the library; we must learn to interact with people of all backgrounds, must learn to have a gentle touch, must learn to listen attentively and speak kindly. This first year of medical school so far has stretched me because it has forced me to improve both sides of myself. I look forward to learning more over the course of this long and exciting journey.