In the midst of the emotional trials of the start of my small animal rotating internship, I needed a way to escape on my days off. The siren song of binge watching mindless television was inescapable, and I turned to that old standby Grey’s Anatomy.

During vet school, my friends and I watched Grey’s – for me, the second time through the seasons, but the uninitiated were among us as well. We made fun of bad medicine, cursed the show’s ability to draw us in, and quickly decided which characters we loved and which we hated.

This summer as I restarted season one in those first fragile months of my internship, Grey’s reached a level of, dare I say, poignancy. Meredith, Christina, Alex, Izzie, and George were interns. I was an intern. They worked long, stressful hours. I worked long, stressful hours. They hated their lives. I hated my life. Grey’s Anatomy spoke to me on a level that I had never appreciated before. (And then, of course, I stepped back and incredulously asked myself “Grey’s Anatomy? It speaks to you? Seriously? Seriously.”)

Let us for a moment set aside the ridiculousness of my finding relevancy in my life through the soap opera that is the lives of everyone at Seattle Grace. There are actual valuable things to be learned from that show.

1. One of the most indelible lessons for me: find your people.

Grey'sI feel like this is an especially poignant reminder for me because I – like many in the sciences and medicine – find relationships with people to take special effort to form and maintain. And here was Grey’s telling me in no uncertain terms that relationships mean survival.

We all have people we’ve acquired throughout life, best friends we picked up along the way. But Grey’s reminded me that an internship comes with people built in and even though these people were selected for me by that mysterious veterinary-dating-game that is The Match, they are who I have for the next year. Now, I should take a moment here to say that my intern class is a bunch of awesome weirdos so we get along famously. But the point that Grey’s was so keen to teach me was that these awesome weirdos aren’t just part of my work life: these people are the reason that work-life balance exists.

2. The second most important thing I learned? Dance.

Crank up the music, forget that anyone is watching, and dance your heart out. Get your blood pumping and shake off all that stress that is dragging you down.

3. And finally, a reminder from a certain raven-haired neurosurgeon: “It’s a great day to save lives.”

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of the editorial team.


My name is Kendra Rushing, I am a recent graduate originally from the Pacific Northwest. I’m currently a small animal rotating intern.