Two weeks in, this year is shaping up to be pretty fantastic already. I have waited for this year my entire life. Finally I’ll be a doctor!
This past year was tough, but I have probably learned more about medicine and myself than any other year of my life. I finished my core rotations, I organized a full electives schedule and travelled all over this country.
I worked longer and harder than I have ever before, and gained confidence that come July first when I walk into whatever hospital I end up in, I’ll be okay. That is huge.
I became okay with leaving the city and home I’ve lived in for ten years, should it come to that. I’ve found programs that I love from coast to coast, and I’m confident I’ll make a home for myself somewhere.
I finally made some decisions about where my life is heading. If you have followed me along on this journey for very long, you know all too well the struggle I had with choosing a specialty. I have found my place, and hopefully everything will work out to get me there!
So what does my 2018 look like?
A cramped, poorly ventilated, germ infested tube, with minimal leg room, flying through the air.
I will spend the first few months of this year flying – a lot.
After spending this past fall all over the place, with eight flights under my belt in just these past four months, I’ll embark on a cross country tour on Saturday. One that takes me from coast to coast and everywhere in between. Eight more are coming my way, with a mini vacay in the mountains in the middle!
After I finish my interview tour, I will finish my final two rotations of medical school and then take off for Spain and Portugal!
And finally, after I write my licensing exam in April, I’m headed to Costa Rica!
I finished my very first residency interview yesterday. Thank you so very much to everyone who showed their support in the hours leading up to it when my anxiety was at its highest!
It went well, with the relaxed environment only your home school and staff you know well can provide. I know that other schools will be much different, but I was grateful for a less anxiety-provoking interaction at a program that is really important to me.
I am so very anxious for what’s to come in the next few weeks! I’m glad that I have a couple of programs before I reach my other top choices, even packing and planning for the next three weeks was stressful – what if I spill something on one of the two suits I’m bringing? Not a far fetched idea for me, believe me. What if everything I’ve packed for socials is too formal? Or too casual? Or it’s really cold there? What if my flights get cancelled?
When I return, I’ll be sure to write a guide to interviews so you can learn from my victories and blunders (of which there will be plenty, I’m sure!)
While I may not have known it would be 2018, I have waited for this year forever. Once I finally started medical school, for the past nearly four years, it has been the light at the end of the tunnel. It seemed so far away. But I blinked, and it’s gone.
This time has felt so long, like I have been a medical student forever, but also like it just started. I will miss so much about this experience – giggling next to my best friend in class, hearing a physician say something funny and automatically waiting for a notification on my phone to tell me someone in my class posted a meme about it. We have been like a big family. I will miss these folks terribly, no one else gets it like those who are in the middle of it with you. I’ll be forever grateful to my classmates, for eating sushi in learning rooms, watching youtube videos when we should have been studying. For helping me get up off the floor when I’m wrapped in a blanket crying that I just. can’t. get. antibiotics. I can’t imagine leaving and seeing their name on a consult some day, casually telling the medical student next to me that they were in my class, as I’ve had numerous staff tell me. Someone I used to know. They’re more than that, I wouldn’t have made it through to this point, so close to the MD, without them.
A couple of weeks ago, I received a letter in the mail stating my conditional approval for our convocation. I honestly cannot believe that this year is here. I have worked so hard for this, lost sleep, pounds (which have long since been regained – unfortunately), money (see flights above), relationships, and cried so much along the way. But I don’t fail to recognize the luck that has played a significant part in this journey as well. I did work to get here, but there are plenty of qualified, brilliant, hard working students who didn’t have the luck that I did. Who didn’t receive the letters they had been hoping for. I’ve been there, it is a horrible feeling.
Even on my worst days, I try to remember that while I’m complaining about this journey, someone else is putting their everything into getting right where I am. They’ll get here too. If you’re reading this and you’ve been trying for what seems like forever – you’ll get here too. Just wait for your time.
My Simple Scrub Life
This past year has been more successful than I could have imagined. From starting a blog to creating scrub caps that have been sold all over the world, featured by the physicians’ association where I live, and been worn by strong, brilliant individuals doing amazing things – this has been an unbelievable journey. But I’m just getting started. I have some big ideas for this year, and once I take some time off of planes, I’ll have them ready for you.
I’ve started writing a guide to surgical clerkship – while I won’t keep you waiting as long as George R.R. Martin or anything, it’s something that will take up a good chunk of my time in the foreseeable future, but it’s something I’ve been wanting to create for some time now. When I was preparing for surgeries on my rotations, I could never find a good resource that would highlight important points at my learning level. What does a medical student need to know to scrub into a laparoscopic cholecystectomy and look like a rockstar? Like winter, the answers are coming. Even though winter is here – anyway, you get where I’m coming from here.
I also have some ideas up my sleeve for merch – so keep your eyes peeled!
But in the mean time, I have a ton of new styles available. As a matter of fact, as of yesterday, I now have over one hundred active listings on etsy! Check them out here.
This past year has not been kind to my body. Okay fine, I haven’t been kind to my body. I’ve gone so long without sleep, I’ve held my pee for longer than I should, I’ve stressed myself to tears more times than I can count. I’ve eaten more pizza than should even be legal. I have chosen coffee over water, I’ve chosen to drink absolutely nothing. I’ve renewed my yoga membership and counted on one hand the number of times I “had time” to use it. I started running on my psych rotation, and promptly stopped when I started surgery again.
Some of those things won’t change – hopefully heading into a surgical residency soon, I don’t envision myself having a full 8 hours’ sleep per night for a very long time. I’ll continue to be glad for my iron clad nurse bladder. But I will drink water, I’ll do yoga at home before bed if nothing else, and I’ll prepare food myself, even if pizza is delicious. I’ll nourish my body and take care of it. Otherwise, I can’t take care of others.
So here’s to 2018, I hope it brings you everything you can hope for. I hope you are successful, give and receive love, and that in 2019 you can look back and be proud.