I find myself maundering on and on to my equanimous flatmate Adira. Earlier today something rather ordinary happened. The type of event that would be sidelined for news of much greater importance, such as a much needed cancelled nine AM lecture or perhaps the elucidation of a grapevine rumour, revealing outrageous details on upcoming MedSoc socials.

Yet, despite its quotidian nature, this experience has left a small but potent avant-garde sense of self-expectation. It may seem odd that after just five weeks that one could lose a touch of direction, but the subtly increasing amount of contact time, spent primarily in the same seat of the same lecture theatre wipes the naive sheen off my long-term ambition.

The remainder of my cognition not spent telling the story, is used to figure out why this is such a big deal. However instead of materialising instantly, it precipitates in the time it takes my tea to reach room temperature. She notices me smile wryly. I realise that many years of work experience in medical settings, no matter how practically involving, ultimately left me with a distance to any of the patients I came across. My status as an observer served as a prominent barrier to establishing an intimate rapport that only the likes of a health care worker can achieve.

The game has changed, and I’m now able to start building those working relationships, ones based concentrically around trust and compassion. The credence the public has in you, even as a medical student, is scary but equally just as empowering. The subtleties have once again struck home.

A mother asked me if I, a total stranger, would like to hold her seven week old baby. It was magical.

Léon Sharman

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