Monday, August 25, 2008

Why Stanford Rocks

So I'm at medical school now, for those of you who don't know at Stanford. The last week has been something of a blur, the experiences smearing into each one another like colors on film. I don't exactly know how to sum it up, but I'll say this: I am certainly happy here and with my choice. And here are some of the reasons in no particular order:

Exciting thing A - Outstanding Class
My classmates are outstanding, I'm honored to have the chance to work with them. My choice to come here because of them was truly justified. The Dean spoke today about how Stanford doesn't just want to train excellent physicians, it wants to train leaders. The 86 of us all have that spark. We're all normal enough to hold a conversation. We're all brilliant in at least one area (most of us in several). We've all done something amazing, mostly post graduation. Some have PhDs and Masters, some are Fulbright scholars, some have started NGOs, some have published extensively. Everyone has done something amazing.

Exciting thing B - Christian Community
There are actually a good number of strong Christians here. I'm going to be able to go through this with people who share my convictions, and people with whom I can pray and grow spiritually. As supportive as church groups can be, having this core of people who will share life with me for the next two years at least will be very important.

Exciting thing C - Global Health Interest
Everybody wants in on Global Health. Though there is only a minority of people who actually have done work abroad, it seems that there is broad interest, even among the basic science people (lab rats), to help out globally. We have done some pretty spectacular things separately, and we really want to work together. We're at the beginning stages of a potentially large, collaborative project.

Other Exciting Things
The weather has not ceased to be spectacular.

The faculty has not lost their gravity of presence; when they speak, especially our Dean, they speak with authority. They are not pompous, but are such strong personalities that they command attention.

There have been several groups that I've been the only American-born person in the group. The national diversity is spectacular (though we are lacking in under-represented minorities).

We have an army of people working for us to make our life easy and our learning successful.

The food around Stanford is amazing. Thai, Chinese (dim sun), and Indian were all eaten in the past few days, most of these being ordered from the place by a person who spoke the relevant language.

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