I remember the first day of my intern year. I walked into the ICU with my new white coat, my new stethoscope, and a shiny, black pager ready to work. I knew it would be hard but I really had no idea. I remember the end of that first day....I loved it! There was so much action and excitement and I was finally doing what I always wanted to do. Fast foward to now, I will be done w/ my residency on Monday. 3 years later and everything has changed. That shiny, new pager? I CANNOT wait to hand it in....688-2727, not my number anymore! There were times that I just wanted to stomp on it, throw it out the window, and cause it pain (ok, I know that sounds crazy). After my intern year I turned it to vibrate because the shrill beeping made my skin crawl. Yes, I will always have a pager but it will never go off as much as this one did.
The new coats? Well, they have all been worn out and long since put in the trash. I now have 2 white coats w/o any name or title which I wear occasionally. The new stethoscope? It was stolen a few months ago....so I'm waiting for another new one.
The biggest change: I'm a doctor. It doesn't scare me to walk into the ICU anymore. For 3 years I have been thrown into the fire and I come out with the confidence of knowing I can practice medicine. I have learned a lot and I have a lot more to learn.
The transition is anticlimatic for me. Monday I'm a resident and Tuesday I'm a fellow. Monday I belong to the department of internal medicine, Tuesday I belong to the dept of Heme/Onc. A lot of the people that I went through med school and residency with are moving away....going out of state for fellowships or getting jobs. People I have suffered with for 7 years that I probably won't see again for a long time. There are also a lot of us sticking around here for our fellowships....wondering if we are crazy for continuing when we could be done. Envious of those leaving UAMS for greener pastures. Ready to face new challenges (but scared too).
Should I be sad at the end of this part of my journey? Maybe, but I'm not. I am so happy that I'm done. I'm so ready to move on to the next (and last step) of my training. I never thought I would be going into Oncology but I know it is the best field for me and I think I'm going to be so happy that I did it. I just can't believe it's over....I did it! Thank GOD!
I think the most profound part of this experience is thinking about our family. When I started residency Syd was 2 years old....2! Now, she is 5 1/2 and turning into such an amazing little girl. In 3 more years, she will be 8. Layne wasen't here at the beginning of our residency journey, now she is 19 months old. She will be 4 when I finish, OMG. It's hard to wish away your training when time is also making your kids grow. Hopefully, when I write about finishing fellowship, there will be more kids to mention.
So, on Tuesday I start in the chemo room. I'm excited, scared, nervous, and relieved. I am finally on the home stretch. 3 more years and I'm done!!!! Here we go again......