March 17, 2017 marks a momentous day for us, the graduating M.D. class of Baylor College of Medicine. At 11 a.m. CDT, we will open neatly individualized envelopes with bated breath to see where we have matched into residency.
Having shared in the celebration of three past Match Days, I find my own approaching Match Day somewhat surreal. Here is a capstone moment in our education, yet I’m certain I am not alone in feeling the weight of all that is still out there to experience and learn.
Thankfully, one needs not reinvent the wheel in medicine, which is rich in our predecessors’ wisdom. I found myself inspired digging through email archives from some of our most beloved educators.
I’ve always delighted in the medical monikers we are dotingly referred to (“dear neural crest derivatives; dear pluripotent stem cells; dear synapsing neurons”), but there is nothing quite like Dr. J. Clay Goodman’s three simple words: “Dear young colleagues.”
A colleague implies an equal, and as a first year student I was most certainly not. I found being referred to as such by veteran physicians both motivating and deeply humbling. As a graduating fourth year student, I’m still not there. However, I have come to appreciate that my profession is not a destination, but a lifelong quest to always make meaningful strides.
In addition, our colleagues extend beyond the clinic and classroom. This diverse group crossed paths at Baylor thanks to the support of friends, family, and countless mentors. In four years we became ready as we will ever be to become physicians thanks to the selfless teachings of our patients. We have leaned on and supported each other through both sunny and stormy days. This was not a journey we undertook alone.
We are, in the words of the late Dr. Frank Kretzer’s favorite Tennyson poem, the “flower in the crannied wall.” Though some days we may be too weary to see it in ourselves, those in our lives have and will continue to help us realize the potential of “what [we] are, root and all, and all in all.”
My sincerest thanks to all those who blazed the path before us, those who have tirelessly nurtured and educated us, and those fellow young colleagues who walk alongside us. Congratulations, we matched!
-By Jiwen Li, MS4 and 2017 Baylor College of Medicine Class President