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I have had a good number of experiences in GCM. Some were good, some were bad but all in all, it have formed me to be what I am today in my journey towards being a physician. One of the great experiences I had is exemplified in the picture of me here with Adam, his full name is Adam Kiewitz or Vexi (our batch’s name). This was the complete CNS that we were able to harvest during our anatomy class. It is the first time in the school’s history that a batch was able to harvest and preserve a complete CNS from a cadaver and I was so proud when we were finally able to preserve him in the glass case. This is just one example of the many awesome experiences I had in GCM.

Another great experience I had here was that I was able to be friends with a lot of amazing people and discover things I never thought I would love. I can say that my batch, Vexillum is made up of extremely talented and outstanding individuals. We have been through a bumpy ride together in our journey towards being physicians and I would not want any batch mate of ours to be left behind. Also, shout out to my flag football family, the GCM-Grizzlies who introduced me to the sport, flag football which never in a million years I would have thought of trying but in the end, I learned to love.

All this is possible because of GCM. Without GCM, I would not have met these wonderful and amazing people and I will always be forever grateful to the school for giving me the opportunity to meet them.

GCM is a school of opportunity where you can become better than what you were yesterday. Where you can find the path that suits you on your journey towards being a physician. Where you meet people from all walks of life and from all parts of the globe. Where the faculty encourage you and motivate you on your journey. Where you feel at home.

GCM is changing for the better and with all things that come with change, there will be ups and downs. During my 1st year there were a lot of changes that happened during the year that I would consider good and/or bad. Changes such as in faculty and infrastructure, there were a lot of things that needed to be sorted out. These things however are to be expected in any place that wants to change. You will always find people who do not necessarily agree with the changes and with others who are all for it because that is just the way things are.

My perspective about the recent developments is that we should always give things a chance then wait and see if they work out. We may not always believe these things are right but the only way to truly know is to be patient and look at the results when they do arrive. Patience is a virtue and is something that we, as aspiring physicians need to learn and cultivate.

Overall, I believe the school is treading towards a better future. One where all who enroll into the school are gradually transformed into the best physicians that they can possibly be. It’s because at the end of the day that is what we all want. For the school to produce the best physicians and for the students to be the best physicians that they can be. So we should just trust in the process. Trust in the school that whatever they do, they do it with best interests at heart and more importantly, trust ourselves that despite any obstacle that comes our way, we should always be able to overcome them with the tools and knowledge the school provides us.

My message for aspiring medical students is that always check your “WHY”. For me, the most important question there is in medicine is WHY. You will encounter it in many examinations and recitations but the most important “why” you will ever face is “Why did you want to become a doctor?” There will be times where you will question yourself why you went into medicine and why you are toiling away for another five years just to get that M.D. at the end of your name. Then you will always come back to this question: “Why did I want to become a doctor?” You need to have a strong WHY if you want to finish med school. This was something my mentor before taught us. If your WHY isn’t strong enough, it won’t sustain you through your med school journey. If your WHY is to become rich or that you only went into med school because your family forced you to, then your WHY may not be strong enough.

I’ve heard of people who have gone into med school to get rich only to find out that to get rich as a physician, you need to finish a long and hard journey to get to the top. They end up losing heart and dropping out. I have also heard of people who went into med school because they felt they had to because their family expected them to and end up being so demotivated, they end up backing out. Med school will ask a lot of you, it will ask hours of time to be spent studying, it will ask you to devote yourself enhancing your skills, it will ask you to push yourself to the limit at times that you just end up breaking down, and then it will ask you “Why did you want to become a doctor?”

My advice to aspiring medical students is that to succeed here, what you truly need is determination and willpower. For me, those are the most important traits you need to have in med school. There will be times where you fail and you just have to pick yourself up and move on. You need to have the determination to tell yourself, “It’s okay that I failed today. I need to work harder so I don’t fail next time” because that is how you get through it. You need to be determined to pass and have the willpower to make sure you do what is necessary to achieve it.

Medicine is a noble profession and the journey will be long and hard but at the end of the day, that is supposed to be because no one ever said saving lives would ever be easy.

Del Castillo, Sergei Fernando
2nd year Medical Student
SSC Secretary AY 2020-2021