Reflecting on the last year in internet-land

I started this website as a place to collect and share my thoughts about patients I encounter (of course, with their permission, de-identified to protect their privacy & HIPPA laws), including some challenging cases that I failed at and some that I am most proud of. Whatever the situation, I vow to never abandon people who trust me to help them, however long the ride may be. These limbs are attached to beautiful people who have revealed their most vulnerable state to me and truly count on me to care for them. I find deep satisfaction in building these relationships and hope to continue in doing so. 

Along the way, I have engaged with dynamic people offering their pearls and sharing their personal struggles with me, whether they are patients or other health care providers. I want to thank you, the reader, for dropping by and opening up to me. I hope we will continue this curious journey we call life together and learn about all the different ways there are to heal people like you and me. In turn, I will share my struggles too. 

 My husband & I working together in the operating room on a mutual patient. This counts as date night, doesn't it? :)

My husband & I working together in the operating room on a mutual patient. This counts as date night, doesn't it? :)

This website's 1 year anniversary is dedicated to my hubby who has seen me struggle to figure out my identity and purpose in a profession dominated by men. In training, I've been mentally beaten down by superiors, figuratively thrown under the bus by colleagues, punished by having necessary training experiences taken away from me, mandated to having one-on-one intimidation meetings, essentially outcasted for one reason or another...of course this list can go on and on but I won't dwell on it because that has passed. While inside though, I felt my morale was withering away and that I couldn't get through it another day, let alone another year. I started telling myself it is not worth it. I can't do this anymore. I can't do medicine. I can't help people.

The most harmful words to myself: "I can't."

And then one day I thought to myself I wouldn't accept this to be. I was determined to complete my training and then continue on with another year of fellowship training. I changed the conversation in my head from "I can't" to "I will." I will make this work. I didn't want to give up on patients I could help and I didn't want to give up on myself. 

The most rewarding experience is when patients are traveling distances just to see me and they thank me for saving them from the crippling effect of an amputation. There are days that the only salvation are words of kindness and I am thankful I am able to make it out the trenches to hear them now. 

As I reflect on this past year and the challenges I face, one thing stands out. There is power in kindness to others and most importantly, to yourself. Despite your battles, the one inside your head is the one you must learn to overcome.

"Whether you think you can or think you can't, you are right." Henry Ford