Project Live It aspires to encourage people to try new and interesting things and to help others to do the same. I'll be posting what I've been inspired to try/learn/see/do each Friday.
When I think back over the years, I can't even count the number of incredible mentors who have helped me along the way. From chatting with me over coffee about residency programs, to writing me reference letters, to inviting me home to a family dinner, there have been so many times that people have gone out of their ways to help me find mine in the perplexing landscape of medicine.
If not for my first-year physics TA I wouldn't have known about medical physics...and had he not given me the opportunity to babysit his cell cultures at the Cancer Agency, I would never have learned of the existence (and awesomeness :) ) of radiation oncology. So much in life is serendipitous; but there are times when we're provided opportunities that lead to great things.
I think the best way to pay back for all the many opportunities I've had provided to me is to make an effort to help others who are where I was not so long ago. Some things I've done (none of which involved much effort) have been participating in my school's MS1-PGY1 buddy program, chatting with med students at an oncology interest group meeting last week, and hosting undergrads in U of A's biannual job shadow program.
It doesn't take much effort to connect with other students -- give them your email, chat over coffee, invite them to shadow, put them in touch with staff and research projects... Figuring out what you want to do in life is never easy -- but any of us has the chance to just maybe make it a little less painful for those who come after!