I guess it's time I grew up

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Rank lists are due tomorrow.

For the rest of the world, this is the list of all the places you interviewed at and would like to go to for your residency training. Ranked 1 through whatever. I have 10 on my list.

This list then goes into a big computer and magically, the rest of your life is planned for you. (I will write more about the "Match" as the date approaches: March 19.)

Putting in my rank list means that I'm committing to going to residency. That I am concretely decided on being a doctor.

So I guess I should start acting the part.

I don't feel like a doctor.

There are days, especially days like today where I get to nap and read and blog, when I can't helping wondering if it isn't all a big mistake.

I remember thinking medical school was a bad idea when I was applying. Then, it wasn't because I realized I was committing myself to days of studying, 30+ hour shifts, and a male-dominated system. At the time, it was because I was so shy I didn't think I would make it though an interview.

I thought it was a bad idea during first year, when I realized I no longer had any say over my schedule. I had a child and babysitters and a husband to coordinate schedules with. But classes would randomly throw in afternoon or evening labs, group discussions, or workshops.

I thought it was a bad idea during third year, when I realized that even two children didn't prepare me for the exhaustion of taking call every third or fourth night. Because after you have been awake part of the night with a sick baby, no one expects you to look wonderful or create stimulating conversation the next day. On the wards, after being awake for 30 hours, I was expected to give completely coherent patient presentations and come up with amazing ideas regarding diagnosis and treatment on the spot.

As I looked into the future as a pediatric residency, I again thought that this whole thing had been the biggest mistake of my life. Here I was, exhausted, disillusioned, nearly $100,000 in debt, and the rest of my life was looking even more miserable that what I had already been through.

I thought about quitting. Everyday I wanted to. I would beg Hubster to let me quit. I begged my parents to let me quit.

And then I found anesthesiology.

Things have been better since then. I've been happier. And I've stopped asking to quit.

Even so, looking at residency with more excitement and optimism that I thought possible, I still wonder if it was a good idea.

It has nothing to do with the debt burden or the fatigue.

I feel that I gave up so much more. I realized along the way that I had lost much of my idealism, my youth, and my optimism.

And that is what makes me question it the most.

This blog was started with some hope of rediscovering that part of me I lost during the first part of my training. I still believe the optimistic, forgiving, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, hopeful girl is in there somewhere.


ithappenedinthekitchen said...

Don't give up. I can still see you in there. Its been an honor watching you manage to get everything done that you have. I don't know if I ever told you this, but at one time in my life, I thought I was going to be going down the same path. I'm grateful I didn't, but I've wondered what if... You don't have to ever wonder. You've done it. And someday soon, you'll realize that you are a doctor and you are a mom and you have done everything you've wanted. So keep wanting more, so you can do more :D

Katherine said...

Dear "It happened in the kitchen," Not that I think you will look back here at the comments. But thanks. So much.