QeeQee Gao, M2, Class of 2022

As the end of my first year draws near and the sweet taste of summer looms ahead, I am anticipating a confrontation that I have been pushing away for months. For the majority of my first year, I have been battling with a creeping sensation of … nothingness: a null that which I had hoped was joy, an emptiness that which I had hoped was fulfillment, and a void that which I had hoped was curiosity.

Am I happy? Am I enjoying? Am I fulfilled?





Spoiler alert — summer hasn’t been the ultimate enlightenment session that I had hoped it would be. The answers to the deepest, most profound questions that I and the rest of humanity are searching for remain wanting. I have made very little philosophical and existential progress. In fact, I have thought very little, if at all, of my feelings and woes and how it pertains to my state of being in medical school.

But what summer did provide to me was the space to be, to exist without an asterisk, to be who I am outside of the constructs and routine of school, bi-weekly exams, small group, and KACES. Summer was a montage of people I love, places I call home, and moments I was in joy. Summer was the Miracle-Gro to the arid, desert soil that was me.

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