Due to some fortuitous scheduling, today was my last day of medical school. It was the final day of my otolaryngology rotation, a surgery elective that was probably the next best thing to a clerkship in pediatric surgery. When I arrived in the OR suite, the attending greeted me with a big smile. “So today’s the last day, huh?” He patted my shoulder. “Welcome to the club.”
It’s going to take me a while to get used to being addressed as ‘doctor.’ Even though I feel like I’ve been waiting/working most of my life to be one, it doesn’t quite feel real yet. Maybe it will after graduation, or once I get my spiffy embroidered long white coat. I’m a little worried that on the first day of residency, I’ll accidentally introduce myself as a student. I figured I’d accustom myself to my new title by changing my voicemail recording. It still feels a bit strange to say.
Many years ago when I was a freshman in college (back when the SATs were scored out of 1600 points), I had a meeting with the freshman dean (Dean L) during which I was asked about my career plans. I told him that I planned to become a doctor. He looked at my file and quoted my SAT math score, a 550, back to me and said that with a score like that, maybe I should consider health administration or something else (nevermind my nearly perfect verbal score). If by chance I ran into Dean L today, I’d have no trouble introducing myself. “Thank you, Dean L,” I’d say, “for your contribution to my success.”
For everyone who’s been following along on this blog throughout these 4 years of med school and for all the ones who’ve been on my side since before, encouraging me, supporting me, bolstering me even when others tried to discourage me, I want to acknowledge you as well for your part in my achievement. I could not have gotten here without you and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Stay tuned for the next phase of 医者(の卵), the chronicles of a doctor (in training).