welcome to the work page
i wasn’t sure what i was going to do with this space. talk about pediatric endocrinology? wax on about the immense challenges of work-life balance in today’s world? discuss my patients’ medical conditions? (← blatant HIPAA violation which could get me fired, so that one was out.)
i started perusing my own archives, and decided that i would just share my path through medical education and training as it happened to me. after all, i don’t really know any other way! often i will get emails asking whether or not a career in medicine makes sense, or whether i would do it again. it’s actually not a very easy question to answer — after all, i don’t exactly have other versions of my life to compare this one to!
so here goes my attempt to chronicle my career journey — what it really felt like at the time — through the archives of this blog. i realize that no one is probably going to want to click on ALL of the links, but perhaps various selections will add inject some real-time insight (and maybe a much needed laugh?) into the days of those contemplating a medical career.
i apologize for the lack of pictures — maybe one day i’ll add some. but for now i think i’ve spent long enough on this post, and i have (duh) work to do!
but wait! contrary to popular belief, i have not been blogging since birth. so i will just briefly mention that in 2001, as a single and rather intense college student, i decided to apply for an MD/PhD. i enjoyed my labwork, other science-y types that i had admired were dong it, so it seemed like the right choice to make at the time. i was 21 and wasn’t quite the visionary type. in fact, i really only thought about my life up to age 25 or so, and i seemed to really like school so a forever-education (that was conveniently paid for!) sounded like a great plan.
i wish i had written during the years that i spent in the classroom and on the wards (2002-2003) because in my mind now they exist mainly as gauzy fantasies: the hours studying (it wasn’t that bad . . . i think), the exams, my first pager, mean senior residents, my first overnight call. i know that meeting and falling in love with josh changed a lot about me and my life, and i think i basically grew up around that time (perhaps i’ve regressed since! just kidding).
in 2004 at the very end of my first clinical year, i began writing about my adventures, inspired by my friend vickie and the famous michelle au over at the underwear drawer. selections from this period:
✔ from outpatient pediatrics, 7/2004: one of the things i hated about being a medical student
✔ the annoyance of always feeling like a newb (a later post, but retrospective)
✔ career banter, in which i discuss potential specialties recommended by a computerized survey
✔ random musings on USMLE prep
✔ evidence that my study skills/discipline have not always been top-notch
the lab years
plunked down in the middle of a bustling diabetes/metabolism lab with very little molecular biology experience under my belt was . . . interesting. but eventually i got used to it.
✔ aww, the early days
✔ celebrating small victories
✔ realizing that yes: science is hard.
change of heart
my decision to leave the PhD program in 2006 was painful but easy at the same time. i am not going to describe it better than the me-of-the-moment did, so here were my posts from that time:
✔ a more detailed analysis of the situation
transitioning back to the clinics/residency applications
i remember being so nervous at first, but then being immensely relieved that the clinics felt so much more ‘me’ than the lab. especially when there were kids involved!
✔ the residency personal statement i would have submitted if i could: in outline form
✔ uh-oh, i’ve already started in on whining about the hours . . .
✔ conclusions: that pediatrics is good, call is bad. i still agree!
the residency years
yes, they were hectic and they were tiring. but there were bright spots nonetheless! i am really glad i have so many of my experiences from this time in writing to look back on.
✔ pre-intern nightmares (yes, we all have them!)
✔ i began thinking about mindfulness and the zen approach to life as a resident (that doesn’t mean i was executing it!). it all seems to have started here
✔ the NICU as alien landscape (and the announcement that i was going to train for a marathon during intern year — i failed to run the race, but only due to an injury reared its ugly head during taper!)
✔ expressing my frustration that with all the busywork of being an intern, i didn’t feel like i was learning anything (um, in retrospect? i was.)
✔ entering ward seniorhood
✔ at the end: advice to new interns
obviously, this part is to-be-continued! some notable related posts:
✔ acceptance to the program
✔ the answer to “so what does a pediatric endocrinologist actually do anyway?”
✔ on a slightly academic note: a short piece on growth hormone
✔ and i’m still working on that whole zen thing . . .
✔ the ups and down of home call
whew!! i guess it’s been quite the journey. if you made it this far, thank you for reading. i can only imagine what new challenges future career posts will cover . . . because it doesn’t seem like life really ever gets any simpler. i suppose that’s just one more reason to just relax and try to enjoy it!