Thursday, May 19, 2011


So, it's been a long time since I've blogged in any way, shape, or form. Today is a huge day. I finished medical school today! Graduation is actually next Friday, but all requirements are finished as of this afternoon at about 2:15. I am now certified to save someone by shocking them. It's a big responsibility, and a huge burden at the same time. I'm excited to take on that mantle, but so scared to screw it up. I know that as I transition to an intern, resident, and ultimately an attending, that I will probably lose my perspective on what it is that truly drew me to my field, and medicine in general. To this end, I think tonight is the apropos time to write about what, at this moment in time, draws me to my profession.

As an OB/Gyn, I will be a surgeon. I love the OR. I love the dance that is scrubbing and gowning up. I love the routine of a specific cycle of washing one's hands, the feeling that you'll never be so clean in your life. The feeling of being gowned by such seasoned staff who know how to touch anything and keep it sterile. The twirling of your body as the gown is tied in place, like a ballerina in pirouette. The learned ability to maintain sterility while being allowed the privelege of reaching inside someone. The trust required to allow you to heal someone from the inside out. The ability to find the best path to follow surgically, and knowledge that after closing, and withdrawal of anesthesia, the patient will feel better than before.

I also love being an OB. To bring life into the world. To face so many complications and stare back at them, ready to take them on. To protect the most vulnerable form of life in our world, while protecting those that would bring them into it. To care for mothers who are scared, unsure, excited, nervous, etc, about bringing a new child into the world is a privelege and excitement beyond mention. To help those who are not ready; and to comfort those who are in the throws of loss is a task that very few take, and fewer attain proficiency in.

I will learn courge, in the face of fear and possibly of certain death. I will learn true empathy in measures unknown to me as a medical student. I will learn to bring someone back from the brink of death and manage their new, complicated life. I will learn to be a friend and advisor who does not, can not, flinch from difficult decisions.

I will also learn to seek help. Help from friends and family when things go poorly. Help from mentors and superiors when I don't know what to do. Help from the depths of myself when I am not sure where my conscience wants me to go. No man is an island, and neither is this woman.

I will also learn to go home. To go home and greet my family as if no baby has died today; as if no mother had complications. I will learn to love every moment of my happy life for what it is; a gift that as easily as not could be blinked out of existance.

I am not a particularly faithful person. But I know that in this life we are guided. I know, that despite the choices presented, I was not randomly assigned this path in life. I believe it is my purpose to do this good; to help those whom I am trained to help, and to ask little in return.

I remember when I was in college and dating someone who was clearly not my match (as J obviously is!). I told him that merely graduating and making money was not enough, that I wanted to make a contribution. He asked, "a contribution to what..."

I want to do something greater than myself; to help so many that I might not otherwise ever know. I want my contribution to be to those who need me. A person who needs an empathetic ear; a teenager so afraid of her parents she feels she has nowhere else to go; a family that desperately wants to expand and share their love.

My life can only get better in this practice of medicine. It's been such a long road, with so much more to come, but I know that in the end what I do will make a difference to so many people; starting with me.