From Timothy T. Yau, MD
Course Master, Practice of Medicine I
The advice I will give here is the same as what I will tell all incoming first-year medical students on day one orientation in my course. In other first-year courses, you will learn anatomy, biochemistry, physiology, and so much more. In the year-long Practice of Medicine course, you will learn how to be a great physician. The qualities that make an excellent doctor encompass so much more than just high test scores, which all of you already are capable of! Great physicians not only will have the clinical skills and knowledge to care for their patients, but also will possess an awareness of the realities of health care, and understand the importance of balance between their work and personal lives. The amount of information you will learn in the next four years is both staggering and intimidating. But the learning will not end there, and you are not empty pitchers to be filled with knowledge until you are full. You will never stop learning, and you will have opportunities over the next four years to do things that you may never again do in your lifetime. I am a kidney specialist, but I still delivered plenty of babies as a third-year medical student! Learn for the sake of learning (rather than just to pass the test) and you will find the pursuit of knowledge more worthwhile, meaningful and longer lasting. Set goals for yourself to enhance your understanding of a concept or to improve a skill. Your individual path to fulfill your potential to be a great doctor will be decided by you. Faculty, like myself, are your guides. Lastly, enjoy your medical school experience. Some of the strongest bonds are forged here, and you will need support from family, old friends, and the new friends you will make. Get outside, enjoy some good food, and have a drink to relax. Take time to enjoy things that make you happy, whatever they are! This advice sounds generic, but I live by my own words: I have two video game consoles and three instruments in my office to take the occasional break. You’re always welcome to stop by for a game or to play a tune!