It's all over. Finally.
I am no longer a resident. Didn't hit me until I ran into HH, a cardiologist from Singapore.
"Congratulations on completing your residency."
Huh? Oh yea, that's right.
Completed my last call and last day of resident work today. I get tomorrow off, and the new academic year officially begins Saturday.
It was a rough oncall night, but it's all over.
I pick up my diploma tomorrow.
Admittedly, there were days in the last 3 years when I wasn't sure I would graduate. Complete my training. Instead, I was sure I would quit, or get kicked out, or go crazy, or kill someone out of sheer incompetence. Thankfully that never happened.
My worst night ever? By far that fateful night in the ICU as junior in January 2003 when patients were crashing and dying at the same time. When that patient with multiple myeloma developed a tension pneumothorax and died before my very eyes, despite intervention. I still sometimes have nightmares about that day. Or the time
when I had to do chest compressions on that osteodystrophic patient; I remember so clearly how it felt pumping his heart but feeling his ribs crack under my hands.
My most memorable. Probably that Christmas eve when a bunch of us were oncall, homesick and miserable. Fortunately, there was a lull at night that enabled us to go to the hospital chapel for midnight mass. The camaraderie we felt, the warmth from the crowd, mostly patients and their family who knew what we were sacrificing working on Christmas eve. That was unforgettable.
We sat down and calculated. Most of us spent about 148 nights in the hospital. 148 overnight calls. Wow.
When I return to work next week, it will be a totally new environment. And I will not be stepping into the clinic as a resident. I will be an endocrinology fellow. PGY-4. Post-grad Year 4. 9 years into my medical training.
I looked at the introductory messages by the incoming interns (PGY-1). Eager, idealistic and naive. I remember a time when I was like that. Now, I think we're all worn out. Jaded. A lot wiser, maybe even smarter, but jaded. Time to close this chapter.