When I was in medical school and considering my specialty, someone said to me: “You can train anyone to be a good obgyn.  What you can’t do is train someone to be a caring, kind, and compassionate human being.  People will see that about you and above all, that will stand out.”

Last week I had coffee with one of my current preceptors.  This man interviewed me when I applied to residency.  When I was accepted into this program, he told me that I was his favourite applicant that he’s ever interviewed.  He said I had a passion for life and a light about me that made him know instantly that I would make a great obgyn.  At our little coffee date last week he said to me: “Aggie, I have noticed that you are not the same person today that you were when I interviewed you.  I am so disheartened to see that our program has stripped away the best parts of you in an attempt to make you a good surgeon.  I don’t know why we do this to our residents.”  He continued, “I just wanted to tell you to not let residency win.  This is finite and when it is over, I hope that you will go back to being that person I remember from your interview.”

Both of these people, people I’ve respected and considered mentors, have spoken such true  yet conflicting statements.  In training to become the type of physician I want to be, I have lost the aspects of myself that would make me the kind, caring, and compassionate physician I imagined becoming.  Within this paradox lies my problem.  Can I ever come back from this?  Do I turn around now and work on nurturing myself back into the person I used to be, or do I risk continuing down this path I’m on and perhaps never recovering what I’ve lost?

Is there a right answer?

2 thoughts on “Paradox

  1. No right answer, dear Aggie… just what is right for you, today. Pray or meditate on it, talk to the hubby, and friends who have your interest at heart and not their own. I do not envy you this decision, but have faith that you will do what is best for you, and flourish from there.

    I had a few life-altering choices to make back to back a few years ago, and while I second guess myself at certain times, I know I did the best I could have done under the circumstances, and look forward to the end grad school so I can walk the path I am now laying, brick by exhausting brick.

    Much love and respect to you, Aggie, and as always, great to “see” you! =) =)


  2. I wish I knew. I do know … I’m witnessing this with someone I love, and do believe the usual will return when this extraordinary rain of cruelty has ended. I hope I’m seeing clear, both there and here.


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