A few months into my 4th year of medical school (ie: the first clinical year), I remember talking to one of the consultants on the ward. He asked our group what we wanted to specialise in and at the time, we were just a few months into clinical school so we had no idea. He said that was fine, but he told us to remember the following:

It’s easier to change direction if we’re moving forward than if we’re static.

Now, when it comes to specialising in medicine, I’ve found this to be true. After that conversation, I started moving in the direction of Plastic Surgery, doing my student-selected component in it and ultimately getting several publications and presentations as a result. Even though I’ve now changed direction towards Obstetrics & Gynaecology, the fact that I was moving towards Plastics has had so many positive effects in terms of CV building, networking etc which has directly helped get projects and publications in Obs&Gynae as well.

But as tends to be the case with these posts, I think there’s a more general lesson here.

It’s easier to change direction if we’re moving forward than if we’re static.

This is what I tell myself whenever I’m on the verge of overthinking anything. Let’s take YouTube for example - I’ve had a few messages from people thinking of starting their own channels, but unsure as to whether they’d be able to do it alongside their university studies. My answer has always been to just start, see what happens, and adjust course later if necessary. The same applies to revision methods - we spend ages searching for the perfect flashcard software or the perfect textbook, but we’d probably get better results if we just started with what’s easily available and adjusted our course as we went along.

I find that generally, whenever planning is stopping us from doing, this is a lesson worth keeping in mind.


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