Open letter to my future self

If you are reading this, it is probably the year 2022, and if you have done right by yourself you should be in possession of your MD.
I cannot begin to imagine what the rest of the journey must have been like after second year. I write to you, not to warn you of any future dangers ( Gee-o-dee has your back ), but instead to remind you of a few past experiences wise 21 year old you believes hold important lessons you should carry forth into the unwritten chapters of the rest of your life.


Remember your first ever test as a medical student? That was the stuff a baptism by fire is made of. You failed with distinction! If you had failed any worse, they probably would have handed you an honorary MD just for being able to take that kind of blow to the chin. ( LMAO sorry mate 😂 ). It was necessary. Failure is necessary or inevitable on the success journey. It kept you grounded and lucid. And more than anything it forced you to come back harder & correct!


Public health was undoubtedly the most ‘medical’ course you had all first year, with the ever smoother than peanut butter Dr Edouard Swana. It was a course you really enjoyed. However come exam time, your body betrayed you. Tonsillitis & malaria. One day out and the recurrent fever is still stopping you from doing the traditional ‘last revision’. So you got your mother to inject you Novalgine at strategic times in order to break the fever. One injection at 17h00 on Friday evening. Revise half the work and sleep. Soldier through the fever Saturday morning  and revise another portion. One last injection at 12h00 the same day. Travel an hour to campus & revise the last portion. Then kick ass during the exam. Hannibal himself couldn’t have put together a better plan. Persistence earned you two distinctions that year my friend.








” Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change. “



Anatomy will certainly be one of your favourite courses even long after you start practicing. I’d bet my arm on this. Having general surgeons teach you , just made it all the better, especially Dr Mbey. Many people can master a craft but only a handful of people know how to transmit their knowledge of this craft and the hunger to learn it. He managed to do it so brilliantly. All while explaining certain surgical procedures he’s had to perform, that you understood nothing about but were so keen to listen to. You understood that this course would require special attention. This meant sometimes hibernating in your room for two weeks, all day doing nothing but studying. It also meant skipping out on family events or football matches. Even switching your phone off for weeks was a no brainer. Understanding the sacrifices necessary as well as embodying the determination to get things done always pays off.


You always thought people who said things like, ” It is disappointing to work so hard and not see that reflected in my results”, were just whining instead of working harder. Until biochemistry taught you that you cannot be good at everything & sometimes enough, just isn’t enough. At times you performed under your usual standards. Keep on performing. Keep on keeping on. It’s okay to not be good at everything ( but you better be good at the majority of things. You want to take part in the business of saving lives remember? Don’t settle into mediocrity, you know what I’m saying ? )


You will never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret to success is found in your daily routine.

– John C. Maxwell

You know that 04h00 alarm that you hit snooze on? Just before the 05h00 one that serves as the curtain call before you eventually wake up at 05h30 ? Yea, learn to respect it. Continue to respect it.  You’ve experienced the importance of time between midnight and eight o’clock. Plus it has been scientifically proven that some of the best times to study are first thing in the morning or after a siesta.

Anxiety is not your friend. I REPEAT, ANXIETY IS NOT YOUR FRIEND. Walking out of an exam hall due to stress induced diarrhea because you were anxious not about the test you are writing but about the upcoming one is something I am sure you haven’t forgotten. Live today. Live in the now. Tomorrow can wait it’s turn.

Remember that guy that said, ” do not identify with depression. Do not identify with that which isn’t constant.”, that man is a genius. Doubt & all other negative emotions are like grey clouds that come and go. Use them as fuel to check that you are still up to par with your ultimate goal.

#life #inspiration #medical


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