Improving medical students

Coping with Loss – Treasure your Notes

Posted by medliorator on August 10, 2007

Kendra Campbell shares a valuable learning experience …

As a medical student, what is the most precious thing you own? Is it your iPod? Perhaps your laptop? Well, for me it is my notes. I once tried to take my notes electronically, but found that it just wasn’t as nice as having printouts, with handwritten notes, that I could flip through at any second. So, I print out all my lectures and take my notes directly on them. I have acquired about a five-inch stack of notes during the first five weeks of this semester. I keep them nicely organized by subject, date and lecture in my trusty binders, which I carry around in my backpack.


Last night I made a mistake that I don’t think I’ll ever forgive myself for. I went to a local tiki bar to have a few drinks. I just so happened to bring my backpack…


Sometime during the evening, while I was busy enjoying myself, someone ran up to the bar and stole my backpack. I must admit that since I had a bunch of groceries and other items with me when I left the bar, I forgot that I had brought my backpack with me (because I usually don’t carry it when I go out).


This morning, I woke up and immediately went looking for my backpack so I could resume my study marathon. When I realized that it was missing, I literally felt like I was going to lose my mind. To make a long and dreadful story short, I spent the entire morning questioning everyone, searching dumpsters, and walking down back alleys, desperately trying to find my backpack.


My last resort (in retrospect, it should have been my first) was to contact campus security and report the theft to them. When the security guard replied, “Was it a pink backpack?” I almost collapsed on the spot. Apparently, they had found my backpack the night before in an alley. They handed it over to me, and I quickly searched it to find out what was missing. Someone had stolen my camera, cell phone, and about $200, but my notes were all still in the bag, perfectly intact.


At this point, I couldn’t care less about the stolen items… I realized that my notes are definitely the most precious physical item that I own. I will never again let my backpack out of my sight. Unfortunately, I had to learn this valuable lesson the painful way.

Digital Camera: $500; Med Student’s Notes: Priceless [The Differential]


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