Dear friends and family:
I hereby declare 2015 as the year of the resurrection of my blog. I am a great maker of New Year’s resolutions and an even better breaker of said resolutions, but even so there are some things that will never truly leave me no matter how long I neglect them. One of those things is music. The other is the written word.
I have now officially reached the halfway mark in my training as a pediatric resident. This is both exciting and deflating. I am closer to my goal than I’ve ever been. But when I look back at this blog, I realize that I also have so many stories left untold. And really when it comes down to it, life is just one, long, extended story. Why not write it down along the way?
I am sitting here at my keyboard, thinking of what sort of story I want to tell you, and what keeps coming to mind is the story of residency. I haven’t been doing much else with my time. (Other than having gestated and successfully delivered a monstrous 9 pound child). It is a strange in-between, an opening and closing of doors, the doctor-yet-not-quite-doctor transitional phase in the making of a physician… I bear the M.D. with pride but my white coat is new and there are too many things to learn in too little a time.
“Hello, my name is Dr ___. I am the pediatric resident.”
“Are you the doctor?”
“Yes, I am the doctor.”
I spend my time in four week rotations, jumping from one sub-specialty experience to another. Sometimes even within the same 24 hour period. I am your outpatient pediatrician from 8am to 6pm on a Friday. After 6pm, you will have to come to the neonatal intensive care unit, where I will be your neonatologist until 8am the next morning. And when I return to work on Monday, you will find me at the endocrinologist’s office. And so on and so forth.
On good months, I work 40 hours a week. On a busy month, it can be upwards of 90 hours (although on paper the limit to my hours may be less, my body is still in the hospital and therefore, I am still “at work” in the most conventional sense of the term). Also, it is very possible to work 48 of those 90 hours within a 72 hour span. A resident is a professional amateur. An experienced newbie. A general sub-specialist. She is a highly qualified, deeply indebted, well trained, fairly overworked, and somewhat amorphous sponge. I learn via the immersion method, by being steeped in the medicinal brew of the teaching hospital.
(My metaphors are starting to get out of control).
Dear reader: what I am trying to get at, is simply this: the educational experience of medical school and now residency is completely wild, and I love every minute of it, no matter how awful (and even tear filled) those minutes can be. It is what I was born to do, and I am beyond blessed and thankful to have this opportunity. I am gathering stories that range from the unbelievably insane to the heartbreakingly sad, and each story–each patient, really–challenges, reminds, and reinforces to me what life is all about: people. And people are stories, and life is a story. Isn’t that sort of beautiful?