The most anticlimactic point in my educational career was the day I started my first job after residency.
I remember walking into my first job on the first day so incredibly excited - finally I had arrived. All the late night study sessions and countless hours in the hospital were to be rewarded by autonomy and a chance to finally showcase a skill I had been essentially training for since high school.
Just as the entrance into the clinic on that first day was so memorable- so was my exit that same day. I distinctly remember the drive home on the 405 north to my beach front studio apartment thinking- this is it? This is what I gave up the last 9 years of my life for?
I should have been so happy- a coveted position,a respectable salary, a trendy living space to rent, new luxury car lease- I was so privileged for these opportunities. I felt so letdown. Those first few months felt a bit low & lonely.
While training to be a physician- it feels as if you are running a marathon. The adrenaline filled achievement as you cross the finish line with crowds cheering is unexplainable. Finishing residency and/or fellowship feels similar but in the months following reality sets in. You’ve missed a lot of life events and years have passed but you don’t get to rest and relax and bask in your finish- you have to continue grinding and learning and with completion comes more responsibility & liability.
Build a life you love now. While you are in medical school. While you are in training. When you are trying to impress at your first job. While you are transitioning between jobs. While you are upleveling at your current job. Make medicine part of you- not all of you. Find other parts of you that ignite joy & passion. Of course some of life is put on hold, but make some choices for your soul.