It’s hard to believe that within a few short months I’ll be leaving the comforts of my home to begin life anew halfway across the country. July 1st is quietly approaching and hospitals around the country are preparing for their new class of interns. Some with anticipation, and others with dread (more likely).
As for me, I’m beginning my Step 3 prep and continuing with all the forms I’ve had to fill out the past couple days. It’s enough to keep me busy and not focused on the formidable challenges that lie ahead. I still can’t help but wonder how wild of a ride this has all been.
April 2006 is when it all began. I was a college senior checking the mailbox eagerly each day, waiting for that fateful moment when a letter would arrive in which the next several years of my life would be dictated. When that day did come it did not fail to disappoint, I had been accepted into medical school and the whole world danced with me in the months leading up to my departure.
There was one small caveat though; that I would be shifting my life to the Caribbean. Away from friends, family, and my entire life.
As I sit here now contemplating about what to pack and what interstates to drive on to get me to my new home, I reminisce and search for any moments that could illuminate some of the mystery that lies ahead.
“Follow your heart, wherever it goes”.
Seems like something an old man with a hooded robe and staff would say right now. A part of me would believe it too. Unfortunately there’s a big part of my heart that’s right here in NY and not likely to budge.
It’s OK though. I’m excited about what the future brings and even though I decided to pursue this life at such a young age, I believe there was always a part of me that knew the sacrifices that would come with it. In fact, I was reminded about them daily hearing stories about my grandfather, who was also a physician (and worked through a much harder era without the advances we have now).
A year ago when I was still a wide-eyed 3rd year I met an anesthesiologist. He was a big man from the Middle East who would spend the surgeries zipping around from one screen to the next, checking pressures and levels, then jotting them down meticulously on his clipboard. One day he noticed me during the calm before a case began.
“So what do you want to do?”
After looking around to make sure it was actually me he was referring to I blurted out an answer before I had the chance to compose anything eloquent.
His eyes lingered on me for a moment and then he broke out laughing.
“Ya I had no clue either, but let me tell you…
Where ever your heart wishes to take you, you must follow it. Everyone has their personal journey, mine has taken me from Asia, to Europe, all the way to New York. Who knows where it’ll take me next.
I soaked in his wisdom like a good spongey 3rd year and hoped it would inspire me through retracting miscellaneous organs for the next 2 1/2 hours (it didn’t).
So in the end I didn’t have a hooded figure dishing out some life advice, just a doc with some scrubs on. Who better to listen to than the people who have already done it all?
On to Omaha.