Never good enough

People who go to grad school tend to be the types of people who do very well in school. This is even more true for those who go into med or vet med school, where your grades need to be exceptional simply to get in.

The drive to get perfect marks doesn’t translate well into real life, where it is impossible to succeed a hundred percent on everything. This is a hard reality for many of us to face, especially those of us who have been striving, as Sarah Boston mentions, to always figure out what happened so that we didn’t get those last few percentage points on the test.

Sarah Boston notes how she has seen many people who find it difficult to let go of not being able to achieve perfectly:

When I look around at my veterinary colleagues, I see the same desire to achieve more. We are all searching for that elusive 6%. At the beginning of each oncology rotation where I teach, our final year students will introduce themselves and tell us their plans for after graduation. For the students that are going into general practice, they will say, “I’m just going into practice.” Because just being a general practitioner and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, is not enough and they feel judged. They judge each other and they judge themselves. They think that I must be judging them too because I am a specialist and they are not. This always breaks my heart. Of course being a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine is enough. In fact, it’s fantastic! I always have to correct them, pointing out how important the job of the family veterinarian is and how I believe that being a veterinary general practitioner is one of the hardest jobs in our profession. . . .

No one can ever get 100%. It is not possible. If you or the people you work with are consistently hitting about 80-90%, then that is enough. It has to be enough.”
From a Christian perspective, there is always a balance between striving to serve God faithfully – to the utmost of our ability – and a recognition of God’s grace in working in and through me despite – and even because of – my imperfections.

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