Living with Uncertainty

Here we are, in the midst of COVID-19. I would have never imagined in my wildest dreams such a scenario.

Us students are currently living day to day, just waiting for another email, another GroupMe message, another glimpse of hope that we’ll see a patient again soon. It certainly does not help that our national boards were also cancelled. We are now playing another waiting game- on the lookout for an email from the NBEO about when we can re-schedule part 1 of our boards.

It’s been the name of the game recently: Wait & See. It’s certainly not a game I’m very fond of, nor has it been easy. Each email, text message or phone call in which someone tells me they “understand” or they “sympathize” has grown old, like a monotonous alarm clock that awakens me to yet another deja vu type groundhog day. You see, no one can quite understand the stress that has been thrust upon us students, especially my fellow 4th years.

We were supposed to be celebrating being done with part 1 of boards with a glorious diplopia week. We were supposed to be on our way to the next adventure in our career, externs! We were supposed to be seeing hundreds of patients during our time at our extern sites. Yet here we are, doing our part to stay home and stay safe. I am proud of us. We radiate hopefulness, strength, and brilliance.

I am proud of our resiliency during these times, but I am saddened (to say the least) by the missed opportunities. I want everyone to remain safe and healthy, but now as states begin to reopen, I am eager to return to patient care. There is such a fine balance during these insane times between staying safe, while also continuing to support the economy and have people maintain a steady stream of income. The balance is out of control, much like how our lives currently feel.

So, to my fellow 4th years: I know you’re sick of hearing “we’ll get through this.” Instead, I will tell you that we will succeed. We won’t just “get through” this harsh reality. We will demolish boards, we will give phenomenal patient care, and we will thrive in our new environments on externs. I have faith in us, which is about the only thing that keeps pushing me forward when I have no motivation.

So don’t let anyone tell you they “understand” what you’re going through. Each battle is unique to the individual. Just know I’m cheering for each of you. I cannot wait to properly celebrate our accomplishments together. Until then, keep on succeeding, my friends.