On Being a Scholar by John Flaherty, OMS IV

With two weeks left as an academic scholar and a new crop of students only recently accepted into the program, I find myself trying to pinpoint exactly what I was thinking two years ago when I signed up for this gig. After thinking about it for some time, I realize that the answer lies in a deep seated feeling that I had a specific experience and outlook to share with other students, one that might possibly help a few people along their own bumpy road to becoming a physician. To be truthful, “bumpy” is probably an understatement for the road I ended up on; inevitably it was this unique quality of my experiences that I felt I brought to the table.Not surprisingly, my favorite part of being a scholar was the challenge of trying to help others. 

Without a doubt the job was an unbelievable opportunity. A chance to work with the faculty on a yearlong research project and a share in the challenges, frustration, and the successes that come with it. The first semester was spent working directly with the OMM faculty in both the lab and clinic. This experience provided insight into the way the faculty implement OMM in their own practice and gave me the chance to build on my own skills.The second semester we spent developing our understanding of human anatomy and sharing that knowledge with the incoming first year class. We devoted many hours to coursework that developed and improved upon valuable skill sets including concepts in biostatistics, observation of and development of case based learning modules, board style question writing, and critical analysis of published articles. Each of us co-authored a chapter in the upcoming edition of a major clinical review book which was an experience that turned into a weeks worth of combing through the most up to date literature to rewrite old chapters from the ground up. At the time, these skills translated directly into our work, but they will also prove to be real assets for our future careers as physicians. 

With two weeks left in this program, I can take a step back and reflect on an amazing opportunity that is coming to an end. We worked incredibly hard for the past year, and as we gear up to go back onto the hospital floors, we hear each day from the friends we studied with in our own first two years of medical school. We look on with envy and excitement that they are currently interviewing for their future careers in medicine. As bittersweet as these feelings are, I can honestly say that the past year was worth it, and I am quite sure that if given the chance to go back all of us would have made the same exact decision all over again.