A day in the life: Being a third year medical student at the John A. Burns School of Medicine

The challenges and opportunities medical students face

Sponsored by University Health Partners of Hawaii & John A. Burns School of Medicine

Lucia Amore is a third year medical student at the John A. Burns School of Medicine. Originally from Oahu and born at Kapiolani Medical Center, she has always dreamed of being a doctor in Hawaii. Her goal? In her words, it’s to become a “Swiss army knife kind of doctor,” hoping to be useful and helpful in any medical situation.

“This upcoming third year will be the time for me to explore the different specialties,” she says. Amore has always had an interest in medicine. “I recall having an asthma attack when I was five and thinking the rhythm of the wheezing sounds were like music,” she explains. She remembers being rushed to the emergency room, getting a nebulizer and then being able to breathe. In her mind, it was like magic. “Now, of course, I know the science behind it and understand it more, but the sense of awe is still there.”

So far, she says medical school has been a journey. The first two years were mostly classroom learning with some clinical skills interspersed. “Medical school is definitely the hardest I’ve ever worked, but also the most fulfilled I’ve ever felt,” she says. “Everything we’ve learned is something we can use to help us with patient care.”

For Amore, balancing study time and life outside the classroom is still a challenge. She also says that while medical school is costly, in-state tuition at the John A. Burns School of Medicine is much more affordable than many and the quality of education is top notch. “The school really wants to have an exceptional and affordable medical school to keep people here,” she says. “Statistics show that physicians who learn here tend to stay here – it shows the level of investment that the school has to the state.”

To those wanting to go to medical school, Amore has this to say: “Start early, but don’t ever feel like you don’t have enough time.  Do the things that you feel will lead you there.” She explains that she’s met a lot of people along her journey who did other things before joining medical school, and it’s only made them a better doctors because of it. “Everyone has do to do things on their own path in their own time.”

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