Leaving Telluride

I left Telluride in a daze today. It seemed strange to board the same shuttle that brought me to Napa 5 days ago to head back into the Bay, where I would soon return back to my normal life. There are so many lessons I’ve learned from Telluride that if I were to blog about it, I would most likely end up writing the sequel to Shattering the Wall. Therefore, in an effort to keep it succinct, I wanted to list some of my favorite quotes from Telluride:

“If a doctor gives an order in the forest, does anyone hear it?” (honestly one of my personal favorites, Dr. Nance is fantastic!!)

“Professionalism is not a divorcement from human nature; it is an understanding of human nature.”

“Lewis died because he was in the hospital room. He would be alive if he were anywhere else.”

“We look for vital signs to reassure us that it isn’t serious.”

“People stayed with that assumption and it became a diagnosis.”

I leave with many lessons learned, but I am surprised by how refreshed and energized I feel. At the end of my first year of medical school, I ended the semester feeling burnt out, tired, and honestly, feeling uninspired by medicine. A combination of worrying about STEP 1, worrying about research and publications, not knowing which specialty I wanted to go into yet, and the incoming challenges of the incoming M2 year left me in a frazzled state of mind. Over the course of this summer I’ve questioned many times if going down this path was actually the right choice for me, because honestly, I wasn’t happy. As time passed, summer helped, and I was able to relax and recharge myself for the incoming year, but I was still worried that I wasn’t feeling as excited about medicine as I was hoping I would, and feelings of regret were still as strong as they were during the school year.

It honestly wasn’t until today, as I write this final blog post for Telluride that I can honestly say, yes, I made the right choice. I went into medicine because I wanted to help people, and I want to help make them feel better. Patient safety is crucial to this goal. It’s more crucial than STEP scores, research, or publications. Going through a year of medical school has warped my vision and made me jaded, but Telluride helped bring me back to baseline. Telluride helped remind me why I came into medicine in the first place. Being in a room with others who share this same vision of putting the patient first with everything else being secondary made me realize that I can’t give up. I leave feeling inspired and uplifted, but also more at peace and more confident in myself. My goal is to be the best doctor I can be, so that I can help as many people as I can. Remembering that patient safety is at the core of everything I do, and at the core of my goal, is what I will take back with me as I begin school on Monday. Thank you all so much for this incredible opportunity, and just as Jack said, I will be one of many bumblebees who will go back and pollinate the importance of patient safety.

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