Reflecting on the MLS Program

As graduation approaches and we draw nearer to scattering to our waiting jobs, I realize this year has gone incredibly fast despite the apparent slowness of the moments within. The space between orientation week and comprehensives was really just the blink of an eye. I came into the program not knowing any of my classmates welleven those who came with me from UW La Crosseand in the last 10 months have watched us bond over the stresses and joys of our last leg of academia for a while.

I am sure I underestimate what I have learned some days. The strange frantic energy that we all share about the board exam seems to occlude the true extent of our knowledge.

The most important advice I have received so far regarding the board exam is to not "second guess" myself because that intuition is founded upon months to years of study.

I suppose I will find out the truth sooner rather than later, as my exam is scheduled for 12 days out from the writing of this post.

With regard to the preparation, I believe the structure of the program was well-suited to my style of learning. I appreciated that for most courses, I could go through the lecture material at my own pace and focus on what I needed individually. It was a struggle to sit through regular in-person lectures after that. The clinical rotations were a welcome change from classroom work because they brought valuable knowledge when it came to applying for jobs.

Though the feelings surrounding graduation are complex, I know I am looking forward to starting the next stage of my life and wish the best to both my classmates and all others who are doing the same.

Change is hard, but life goes on and so shall we.

*Acknowledgements: In all of my reflections on how I got to this point, I come back to the thought that I may not have ventured into medicine without my parents' and grandparents’ influence. So thank you for believing in me and inspiring me to study hard. And a big thanks to all the teachers who helped me along the waythere would be no graduation without all of your hard work.

Montana Smith

Montana Smith is a student in Mayo’s MLS class of 2017 and will concurrently finish an undergraduate degree in Clinical Laboratory Science from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse. Montana is a Rochester native and enjoys being back in Minnesota.