Tuesday, July 8, 2014

the end of residency

over and over, i'm breathing out thankfulness.
i made it.

3 years ago, i was assigned five patients.
i didn't know how to enter orders in the computer.
my white coat was still white.
i thought i would only do this for a year.
instead, i fell in love with taking care of patients and decided to stay.

i couldn't leave the place of listening to human stories in exchange for shaping global health policy. i know policy touches communities, but i needed to touch the person in front of me. at the time, it seemed like a huge decision to give up hopkins for a general hospital in a post-industrial city. but i knew i had to stay.

being healthly intern  year was grace; without that year of health, i would have left clinical medicine and entered the world of public health.

it has been anything but easy. four hospital admissions. countless infections. monthly infusions. my sister over and over reminded me "just keep swimming."

so i kept swimming, upstream like the salmon, and i've ended up at beautiful over and over: working in alaska for a month. watching a friend get married in india. listening and being humbled by the patients who trust me with their stories.

and the same prayer i have breathed out countless times over the past three years, whispered under my breath in airplanes taking off over delhi and sitka, to cries from hospital beds when planes left without me:

blessed are you, o lord, who has kept us alive and sustained us,
who has brought us whole to this moment.

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