In the operating room, a man immediately recognized and greeted me
Even though I wore a surgical mask.
His welcoming expression was familiar to me, but I couldn’t pinpoint how I knew him.
He eagerly reminded me that he knew me from when I volunteered at the hospital
Five years ago, as a pre-med.
I then remembered him as the jovial older man
Who made me feel comfortable during those days
When I was eager to just be in the hospital
Delivering supply carts to operating rooms,
Being within a measurable distance from patients.
Now I’m scrubbing into surgeries, rounding on patients, taking care of people,
Fulfilling my dream.
I was touched that he remembered me
Amongst the hundreds of students he must have interacted with over the years.
He asked me what I wanted to do in medicine
And I told him I wasn’t unsure.
He replied with conviction,
“You can do whatever you want.”
I’m thankful to him for being kind to my younger self five years ago, and now
For reminding me of how far I’ve come and
Of the excitement the future holds.
Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.