WIC Reflections From a First-Year Medical Student
There is a strange mix of freedom and anxiety I feel when walking into a room full of people that I know are more experienced, qualified and competent than myself.
This is a feeling that I have gotten used to in my limited time in hospitals and at conferences as a first-year medical student with just over a semester of schooling under my belt.
My interest in cardiology sprouted from a few significant personal experiences: holding my family members' hands while they got ECHOs and cardiac function tests; shadowing physicians; and leading a mediastinal dissection where I got to see and hold a heart for the first time, seeing how perfectly engineered, consistent and complex this living machine is.
Being invited to the ACC Michigan Women in Cardiology (WIC) dinner was an opportunity too exciting to pass up, even though it meant sacrificing time studying the wonders of the lymphatic system.
During the event, I had the opportunity to talk to and learn from some incredible residents, fellows, and attendings on unique paths with the common goal of increasing the presence and power of women in cardiology on the state and national level.
In addition to learning about some lifesaving technologies and how to increase our value to our employers and peers, we took turns identifying our strengths and making plans of how we could specifically implement them to achieve our goals.
I happened to be sitting with two first-year fellows and two third-year fellows who all worked together at the same hospital, and one of my favorite parts of the night was seeing these women comment on the traits and skills they admired in each other.
It was a gift to see such collegiality and encouragement be shared in such a sincere way. I walked into this event feeling insecure and out of place, sitting down at a table full of strangers, but walked out feeling embraced by each of them, inspired to start taking small steps that, with time, might become big leaps.
This article was authored by Mallory Hoevet, medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Auburn Hills, MI.