Friday, June 27, 2008

The end of the End (and the start of a new Beginning)

I woke up an hour before my alarm went off this morning. Tried as I might, I couldn't fall back asleep.
Years ago, if someone had asked me how I'd feel at the end of my training, I'd have said that I'd be ecstatic, euphoric, and leave running and yelling and not look back.
Today, I confided in Kristin that I went to work with a heavy heart. In the midst of all the wedding and presentations at conferences and family visiting, I'd forgotten what this really means.
The end.
My training ends (the CME of course, continues for life).
My educational and legal association with this wonderful medical institution, formally comes to an end.
I came to work seeing everything differently today. This was the last time I'd take the elevator up. The last time I'll walk past the board with the photos of the members of the endo division. The last time I'd say 'Good Morning' to my secretaries. The last time I'd log in to my computer and see the electronic medical record system boot up. The last time the clinical assistants call me 'Sparky' (I happen to be the speediest fellow). The last time I'll see the med-evac helicopter take off from the hospital rooftop.
6 years. I've had 6 wonderful and proud years at this institution. And though I still have much to learn, it's taken the shy, scared fresh medical grad and turned him into a confident (hopefully skilled) endocrinologist.
Though I've had some nightmarish experiences here (mostly in internship), my time here has definitely been a positive one. And I'm probably biased (and being a bit boastful, but this is my blog, after all!) but the patient care this magnificent institution provides, is really second to none. And it's even more amazing working alongside literally, the world experts in their respective fields, who remain ever so humble and approachable and keen to teach. And the numbers are stagerring:
Over 2 million outpatient visits a year. 2209 residents and fellows like me, 3200 staff physicians. Almost 2000 beds, 90 operating rooms, 4 helicopters. 33000 lab tests, 200 MRIs done daily.
We've all been spoiled and working in a new place will definitely take some adjusting.
I'd like to think that I not only survived my training, but to an extent, thrived. Training that started in 1996 and ends in 2008. Years that would not have been possible without the support of my mom, dad, Kristin and friends.

I hand in my employee access card and pager this afternoon. Pager number 8402, something I've used for 6 years. I'm going to feel naked without it.
As I hug my colleagues goodbye, I'll have to bite my lip and hold back tears.