Sunday, June 7, 2009

The First Day of the Rest of My Life

The day has finally come… I am officially a doctor! A physician! An M.D.! And I have my beautifully crafted diploma sitting beside me to prove it! I will no longer be a mere medical student at the bottom rung of the hospital hierarchy. Today is the day when I am bestowed the honor and privilege to hold a person’s life in my hands. Wow… I better not mess it up.

I didn’t think I would feel different after my medical school graduation. After all, it’s just another day, right? But walking on that stage, being hooded in front of my family, friends, and mentors, was something else. It finally hit me. I have had this dream of becoming a doctor for the last 20 years (seriously, check out my fifth grade notes on becoming a “docter” when I grew up). I’ve studied. I’ve taken tests. I’ve worked all hours. And now that day is here. It’s a remarkable and powerful feeling to finally reach a goal that has been out of your grasp for so many years. While a thousand different thoughts and emotions are running through my head, one thing I know for sure. I am going to be the best physician that I can be. I have worked too hard to become anything less than that.

While I can’t deny I am on a graduation high right now, today is also bittersweet. It’s the day that I leave everyone who means anything to me for a life unknown on the Other Coast. I take with me only my fiancé and rainbow of emotions. Will I like my residency program? Will I like my co-workers? Will they like me? Will my suturing and knot-tying be up to par in the operating room? Will I remember how to deliver a baby? Will my patients have confidence in me? Do I have confidence in me?

Stay tuned to find out.

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