Last night, I finished my last major hurdle before graduation — presenting my thesis/capstone project to a small seminar. I have fairly crippling anxiety about presentations and lecturing, but I’ve been trying to push myself outside my comfort zone, because … academia likes lectures, and I like academia. And it’s never as bad as I think it’s going to be — I managed to deliver two lectures to a group of overeager premeds! If you can survive the rabid premeds, you can handle anything.
The talk actually went really well; the other woman presenting that night was working on a very complementary topic, so the discussion afterwards was incredibly rich. Lots of encouragement to publish, which is heartening. There are times, when you are up at 3 AM embroiled in the nitty-gritty of statistical analysis, when you start to doubt the validity of your work, its relevance to medical education, and whether or not the sun is going to rise ever again. So it’s great to take three steps back and present to the greater community and realize that no, these are actually really important findings. Now, I just need to convince Academic Medicine of that mindset!
So now back to my regularly scheduled programming: filling out residency paperwork, and lying in the grass in Central Park with Zadie Smith.