I realized that I never made a blog post about my medical journey…
When I asked you to send questions on my Instagram stories, I got tons of questions about medical school/being a doctor (or a doctor to be in my case, haha).
That’s why I thought it would be a good idea to tell a little more about it here!
I will write 3 parts because I want the blog posts to be complete and 100% honest.
Unfortunately, medical school is such an environment where you shouldn’t talk about your failures (it is NOT done – such unhealthy attitudes that I don’t support).
However, I am done with faking anything. I don’t want to fake anything about my life.
Actually, as a social media influencer and blogger I would like to spread positive messages and hope to people.
It is very unhealthy if everything you see on social media or on the internet is only containing positive experiences and successes.
That is not how real life is!! I feel like people nowadays only want to show how perfect their life is and will spam social media with all the good times, while removing the bad times.
Think about the couple who recently posted on social media with a caption saying they have never been happier, then breaking up after a week…
IT … IS … FAKE!
I do understand that you want to keep your social media positive, but don’t you think we as a society are afraid to be and show ourselves in a vulnerable way?
It is proven multiple times that millenials as a generation are too perfectionistic and have so much pressure to have it all together.
How healthy is this attitude and pressure?
Why don’t we show more failures on social media?
Wouldn’t that contribute to a more real reflection of society and people?
I said to myself, I don’t want to contribute to that as a social media influencer.
That’s why I want to get more real and honest about my life, because I get a lot of messages about how I am the perfect combination: I participated in an international pageant and have a title under my name, I am a social media influencer with over 100 000 followers, I have been travelling to multiple amazing destinations and next to that I am soon becoming a doctor.
People think I must be lucky or be living this perfect life without failures and hardships.
I realized I don’t want to spread this message, I don’t want to be fake anymore and only tell you and show you the positive experiences in my life.
My life has been FAR from perfect and I had a lot of obstacles in the way too.
I want to get rid of this attitude where you should only have encountered successes in your life and no failures to be interesting on social media.
I see all of these influencers trying to put in so much energy and effort to make their life SEEM perfect.
Now that I think of it, it is sometimes a little ridiculous.
Even in medical school where the environment ‘should’ be mentally healthy, failure is a taboo.
It is not okay to fail in medical school because that would negatively influence your specialization spot.
Because what professor will choose a person that has failed or hasn’t followed the ‘perfect medical school path’?
Tell me, don’t you think this attitude is incredibly damaging to medical students?
There should be another approach to medicine all together, keeping in mind that a person is a multidimensional being and that only having good grades doesn’t define you as a person.
Neither should having failures throughout your journey define you.
It doesn’t automatically mean you will be a bad doctor if your medical journey wasn’t perfect.
Being a good doctor depends on so many other factors than being a good student, right. 😉
I believe people who possess qualities like being a hard worker, being empathic, not giving up and being passionate should be acknowledged as well.
Besides spending your life behind a desk 24/7 is not the best way of knowing and understanding life and people.
You will understand people of different walks much more when you experienced different ways of living, having been to multiple places and having met different people in your life.
I think everyone would like a doctor who can understand you from a different perspective too.
It is quite a challenge for me to be completely honest and transparent about my medical journey and in some way it also makes me vulnerable.
But as I said, I started to realize I have a different purpose than just showing pretty pics and a perfect life with only successes to show.
I want to inspire and motivate people in their life instead!
Showing that living a perfect life isn’t realistic and we shouldn’t live in a society full of people who only show their successes and amazing exotic adventures…
It is more empowering and encouraging to see people who have failed and had the strength to push and succeed.
Where do I start?
I always said I wanted to become a doctor since the age of 12.
Before that age, I always said I wanted to become a fashion designer since I was obsessed with designing dresses on paper.
I even bought my own sewing machine and started to turn my fashion sketches into a reality when I was the age of 10.
I love to be creative and to create beautiful things!
I always did and my passion for style hasn’t changed one bit since childhood. 😉
That’s why I love to do this (blogging and Instagram)!
However, I am also still convinced of my choice of becoming a doctor and I think it is such a beautiful profession!
I just have a very specific vision of what type of doctor I would like to become, there are only a few options for me. 😉
Where there is a passion for something, you will find the strength to work hard for that and succeed.
I truly believe that is the truth!
As I said earlier, I started saying I wanted to become a doctor since the age of 12.
I always had the highest grades in class so I wasn’t worried about my capacities.
Unfortunately, at a certain age my grades at school started to go down.
There are several factors that were at the root of this and I would say my mind was very chaotic and troubled during my teenage period.
I also didn’t feel very happy from the age of 14-18 years old (quite an understatement).
Actually I can’t think of a period were I felt more isolated, lonely and misunderstood.
I believe everything happens for a reason and that every hard period in your life makes you stronger and wiser in some way.
However, periods like these come with a cost.
Next to the fact that it left some scars that take a looong time to heal, I was also just not really focused on studying and getting high scores.
It wasn’t a priority for me and I had so many worries that weren’t focused on my future.
Luckily, my grades were okay enough to never end up in any troubles but I wasn’t disciplined at all.
In my last year of high school, it was important to prepare for the entrance exam of medicine but honestly, it wasn’t a priority for me at the time.
I didn’t prepare at all so I didn’t end up passing the entrance exam that summer.
However, that was quite a wake up call for me and I started to realize I really needed to get going if I wanted to make something of my life.
I suddenly started to become so motivated to study and to become a doctor.
The thing is with me, when I fail or when people don’t believe in me, I become extremely motivated to show people that I can. 😉
My family says that when I want something, you don’t know anyone who can work so hard to get it than Kim. 😉
Even though my French was extremely bad at the time, I made the decision to inscribe myself in a French speaking university (Université Catholique de Louvain) which didn’t require an entrance exam.
Quite a challenge and a choice for someone whose worst course in high school was French, haha.
I said to myself nothing in my life will stop me from becoming who I want to become and no external circumstances (or people) either.
I will never let something or someone dictate me what to become or what not.
I have a vision for my life and I will always try to find other ways to become what I want to become!
I don’t quit, I don’t give up. 😉
That’s not how I am, I am a pusher. :p (Sometimes too much for some people but hey, that’s just my personality!)
I tried soooo hard my best during that first semester in the French speaking university to succeed.
I won’t deny it was hard, also socially; I am already such a shy and introvert person and speaking in another language makes me even more anxious! (I also do suffer from situational social anxiety due to some bad experiences in my youth)
However, I had a goal and failure is not an option for me. 😉
I never worked so hard in my life before and my first exams were a success, nobody expected this.
With evenings and days behind my desk and using Google translate for practically my entire courses, I succeeded!
I was so happy and I decided to just stay in the French speaking university and complete my studies there.
I think it was around Easter holiday that an epiphany hit me.
I realized it was very though studying in French, not only on an intellectual level but also on a social level.
Also, there were some articles in the news about how there are too many doctors graduating from the French part of Belgium.
Suddenly there wasn’t a guarantee that we would get an INAMI or RIZIV number (it is a number that shows that you are officially recognized as a doctor in Belgium) because there were too many medical students.
This news made me anxious!
All these factors combined made me try go for the entrance exam in the Dutch speaking part of Belgium once again.
I would in fact lose a year with that, but I just felt like it was the right choice for me.
I decided to not participate in 50% of my exams of the second semester and prepared for the entrance exam and I passed with no troubles.
That’s where my medical journey continued… but then in Dutch 😉
NEXT UP: PART 2 AND PART 3.