I want to be a surgeon. I am, however, only a first year; and statistically speaking this means that what I think I want to be right now is likely to change about 16 times over the next four years until I end up a 35-year-old psychiatrist/OB trying to piece together how I ended up doing the two things I had no interest in when I first got to med school. Of course the Psych/OB route (admittedly unlikely, seeing as it doesn’t exist) represents the worst case scenario. But regardless, I’m going to avoid it like the plague—which, incidentally, is rather easy to avoid these days.
That’s why I start most conversations nowadays by telling people that I want to be a surgeon. You see I have a plan. I’m telling as many people as will listen about my surgical aspirations so that if I ever feel the urge to start giving pregnant women psychiatric advice while delivering their babies (as we all do at one point or another), the potential embarrassment of having to admit to all of those people that I have given up on the original plan will outweigh that desire and plop me back on the scalpel straight path towards sleepless nights and 36-hour call. And that’s why this—friends, fellow med students, and mom (hello, mom)—is how I introduce myself and this column to you today.
I want to be a surgeon—and not just any surgeon—that impossible kind that has a family and a life and a very large 3D TV with 1 billion channels I never get to watch because, as I understand it, those are the marks of a happy man. If all goes according to plan, this column will be a weekly chronicle of the first four years of that journey. A “day in the life” of a first, then second, then third, and finally fourth year medical student with stubborn surgical aspirations and a hard to pronounce name.
Tonight, that life consists of a study room in Volker hall, an “Exam III” folder bursting at its digital seams, and a group of 175 awesome classmates, most of whom are somewhere in this building. Next week, who knows? I may have even switched rooms.
So sure, I’m studying at 2:00 a.m. (okay, fine, I’m writing a column…get off), my vitamin D levels are precariously low, and I’m fairly certain my right leg has fallen asleep; but minus the leg thing I’m surrounded by people who are in the same boat, and as the saying goes:
misery loves company there’s safety in numbers. Besides, on the off chance you missed it the first few times, I wanna be a surgeon—I should probably start stocking up on Vitamin D supplements now.