Western University of Health Sciences


Living Like Lions

fine art painting of an adult and baby lion

Natalie Mok

COMP-Pomona student

The lion, the so-called King of the Jungle, with a roar that is heard for miles, stopping anything and everything in its tracks. When we think of lions, we think of strength, courage, resilience, pride, and power. However, these majestic beasts with no natural predators are actually one of the most vulnerable populations in the animal kingdom.

This brings me to the year of 2020, where a new decade began supposedly filled with hope and possibilities, but culminated in a year full of despair and hardships. We mighty humans who had sat at the top of the food chain, who had thought that nothing could stop us, have been brought down to our knees by forces outside of our control: a deadly virus, battles against social inequalities, and loneliness stemming from social distancing. But even as this terrible year goes by, I think our human roar can still be heard louder and stronger than ever before. We just need to remember to be like lion prides! Our prides — forged from special bonds between friends, colleagues, and family — pick us up when we are down and build us up to be better together.

I see these qualities and many more in our DO class of 2023 that have helped me get through the year. The second year of medical school is challenging enough by itself; compounded with the current state of our world, this school year has been unexplainably difficult. I appreciate how our members of our class make the effort to set up virtual hangouts to study or play games, so we do not feel trapped in a time loop of studying for hours on end. Through all of this, I see the strength of our class and how we advocate for each other during these times of social unrest and natural disasters. Most importantly, I see the resilience of our class even when we cannot physically be together to support each other.

As we continue social distancing as our new normal, there are a few qualities of lions that I would stress to avoid. These include: using our roars to intimidate others, sleeping 18 hours a day, or hunting wild animals in our backyards and eating them raw…the supermarkets are still open.