Thursday, May 24, 2012

It’s all about the paper

Classmates are beginning to receive and subtly (or not so) gloat about their new diplomas. They are beautiful, large and completely satisfying to look at. Hard to believe that this is what it has all been about…the paper.

The slog of medical school is certainly about learning. It certainly is about figuring out our place in patient care and the future of medical care in this country. It’s most certainly about compassion, healing and care of those in need. But mostly, it’s about the “ticket”, the paper, sheepskin,….the diploma.

Those large ear to ear grins I see from classmates are of total joy in accomplishment and surviving where many have not. And it helps to have a diploma in hand when doing so.

Can’t wait to get mine. I’ve been patient all of these years. I can wait a few more weeks if necessary.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Time flies when you are having fun!

Exactly 4 years ago today, I was getting on a plane and traveling to school for the very first time. I remember seeing my island home as we approached and wondering what would be in store. I had no freakin' idea what I had gotten myself into. Yet, here I am. I've actually survived the 4 years of school and am graduating.


A lot has happened since then with classes, course and national exams, clinical experiences and life. I've made it to the logical conclusion and graduation from medical school with an invitation to residency training for another 4-6 years, depending on my route of travel.


And so, in weeks it's here. I am almost a doctor. I've just about finished my requirements for school, all the national exams, and all the stuff that is crammed into the process. It's frightening how much I had to do to get to this point, but it's here, finally, 4 years later. Funny I don't feel any smarter.


About the only think left is having the degree actually printed, in hand and sent off for recording and certification by the appropriate bodies and organizations so I can begin post graduate training and clinical practice. It's a time of renewed fears, amazing possibilities and wonderful memories assuming I suppress the bad ones and add a healthy dose of psychotic denial, delusional projection, fantasy, passive aggression, acting out, intellectualization, reaction formation, dissociation, displacement, repression, humor, sublimation, suppression, altruism and anticipation.

It's great to be here at year #4. And I'm not sure what being an M.D. is really all about yet, but I'm hopeful I'll perhaps get a nicer table at my next restaurant reservation when I say "doctor". Nah, more likely nobody will notice. But that's ok. I survived.