Rites of Passage

July 7, 2011 Amy FamilyJesusResidencyTRAVEL

Last Monday night I stood in the hallway between A and B buildings on the 5th floor and pondered the end of my career as I know it… The end of intern year.  It seemed like it was supposed to be momentous as if I should stand for a moment in the gulf between the future and past and ponder.  Its was 1 AM and I was on Heme/Onc call and I should have been sleeping but in the quiet  enfolds of the hospital at night I sometimes do my best thinking.  A year ago on the eve of my intern year I was bouncing between butterflies and homesickness wondering how I managed to end up at a program with so many smart people.

I celebrated with my classmates rafting in Indiana and then flew home to join my family at the Lake. It was a dazzling four days of sunshine, brilliant blue skies, green mountains, hiking, boating, good food, family, naps and good books. The trip was a blur, a smooshing of all that is happening in the lives of the ones I love into the four day pause between my 90 hour work weeks. Victoria has own her apartment. My best friend from high school is trying to get pregnant. We discussed it all over french food.  My best friend from childhood is getting a divorce. Emily is buying manipulatives for her classroom, preparing her lessons plans. My best friend from college is starting her internship in Family Medicine. We all went shopping for professional clothes (well Tori went shopping for shorts to wear while scooping ice cream).  And my Dad has decided the time has come to play match maker and has declared he wants grandchildren. Thing seem to be progressing at rapid speeds. I have whiplash from the changes, the leaving behind, the moving forward. There is sadness and joy….so much joy and anticipation of new chapters of life.

I came back to the world I had left except that now they call me Senior.  I am in the ED which is supposed to be what I want to do. Its confusing. I love the ED. I loved my first night in the trauma bay (the privilege of a Sr. resident). I love the speed, the variety and the acuity. But I also like sleeping and the month of ED nights is waring on me.  The wide eyed interns look terrified with every presentation they make remind me of how I far I have come. As I watch my four close friends in the program apply to second year match fellowships in GI, Cards, Pulm.  I feel the vice of pressure to be a rockstar if I want to do ED I have to prove my worth to the department….. I realize how much I just want to be done with the academic rat race that has been my environment for the last two decades.  Decisions, checks in the boxes, you graduate from intern year….now is time to have your life together….If I don’t do ED fellowship that means Africa in 23 months….that is so close…am I ready for that?

I dont know.  There are a lot of things I dont know. But for now I pause before jumping back into the eb and flow of change and moving forward. I pause to say how grateful for how amazing my life is.  For the grace for the last year, for the wonderful people who love me all over the world, for the opportunities to learn the art of medicine and the science of saving babies.  And even for the choices that terrify me but also motivate me to keep treading, keep moving on.  To choose one’s  life work is such a privilege.  To trust God with them is also a privilege.

I rest in that thought.


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