The end of the beginning.
I officially finished interviewing for residency programs. Now, to figure out how to rank them all on my "wish list" for submission. The programs do the same with applicants, and it all goes into a giant computer algorithm that takes 2 weeks to compute. Then it spits out your fate: whatever program you match into, it's official and considered a contract - no backing out. If you don't match - well, that's a different story.
Thinking about Match day is both the most exciting and the most terrifying. All of this hard work, pros & cons, sweat & tears, sleepless nights of going through 2 years of incredibly difficult academia and board exams to filling out countless applications to rotating with programs - constantly being "on" ... culminates into this one day, in one email. But if it excites you and scares the crap out of you at the same time, it probably means you should do it.
This is the closing of a chapter, and I'm excited for this process - the journey of learning. Accruing medical and surgical knowledge, surgical technique, and solving complex problems and cases to improve or save a life. But what excites me the most are the stories of people I have yet to meet.
In the surgical ICU, although I was not interacting much with the patients conversationally because of how sick they were, I was able to learn their stories, see their families, and within that it is such a personal experience. So many people think surgery is the least personal, but it is actually the most intimate relationship you can have with a patient. To have the confidence and skill to think you can go into someone's body and fix something? That is a confidence I would like to attain, sir. Yes please.
Speaking of humans & their stories - this weekend, friends and I took an über ride home from dinner. Our driver was from Puerto Rico and had moved here 6 months ago because his wife had a job opportunity she could not refuse. He received his degree in social work, and was starting English classes in a week in order to better communicate for future jobs. He was driving to earn some extra cash in the meantime. The hustle is alive and well in all walks of life, people. I love rubbing shoulders with the greatness in others.