Second Chances


It's one of those words that no medical student really wants to hear. You see, it implies that one did not meet the standards required of them and, in a setting where performance is key, it brings with it a wealth of perceived stigma, shame, and doubt.

Students needing to remediate are often spoken of as the "other" or the exception to the rule of the properly-planned procession that is medical school. It's something kept secret, so as not to shame any student by outing them, but that also induces a different shame - a shame of loneliness, that one is the single solitary failure, the one student who is forced to endure the weight of this process.

But, let us change our perspective for a second.

To remediate is to receive a second chance. To remediate is to be told that one only narrowly missed the mark and is perceived of by the staff as capable of passing the mark with only a little extra study  that one need not repeat the entire year to achieve mastery of the subject, nor that one is incapable of ever attaining mastery and should summarily be excused from attendance.

Instead of seeing remediation as shame and failure, perhaps it is time to see it as grace and mercy. Perhaps it is time to see it as what it is meant to be - an affirmation of the belief by one's faculty of one's ability to succeed.

I can succeed. I am not a failure.

To God be the glory.


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