In these racially challenging times, should premeds be going out to join the protest or should we stay buckled down and study for our MCAT exams? This question was recently posed by a member of the PreMed Mondays group.
The murder of George Floyd is taking a HUGE mental, emotional, and even physical toll on our country. Black individuals and those who sympathize with the struggles faced by the community are stepping up to say enough is enough. Peaceful, safe, and law abiding protest is highly encouraged, BUT this leads to a dilemma for premeds who want to be a part of this movement but already have a full plate (e.g. applying to medical school or studying for the MCAT). So, the question arises…How should you spend your time? How can you make the biggest impact?
There are a few things to consider when evaluating these questions. The first is, what does your heart tell you. One of my mentors is constantly reminding me to function from a perspective of no regrets. There are certain things in life that you know you’ll regret if you don’t pursue. You’ll have to decide if being out in the crowd is one of those things.
A second thing to consider is how you join the movement. Every person has his or her own role to play in promoting justice. It is true that functioning on one accord is essential for success, however, that does not mean that everyone does the same job. I imagine that most respectable members of the community would advise premeds NOT to disrupt their studies in critical times and to get the job done to get accepted to medical school. 9 out of 10 would likely say you’re more needed as a doctor than a protester. For most of us in the medical field…that would be our larger impact. As a physician, you’re needed daily to advocate for your patients and community. You’re essential!
Now, with all that said, you should keep in mind that doing both may be possible. If you’re focused and use your study time wisely, it is possible to peacefully and lawfully protest as well. These two things are NOT mutually exclusive.
REMEMBER…IF YOU PHYSICALLY JOIN THE CROWD AND PROTEST…PHYSICAL DISTANCE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND WEAR A MASK! IT’S STILL COVID SEASON!!!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this issue. Protest or study?
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