Friday, December 14, 2007

My Miss List

It's hard to believe that after more than 9 years in PGH, I am finally going to be saying goodbye to it.

I am both excited and terrified at leaving the only hospital I've ever known. Excited because I am finally going to get to see how medicine is practiced out in the big, wide world. Terrified because I don't know if I am up to the challenge of practicing medicine in the big, wide world. More terrified because for the first time in my life, I will be hurdling the next stage in my life as a doctor completely alone.

And on the eve of my saying goodbye to my mother hospital, I realize that despite the love-hate relationship I have developed with it, there are many things that I will miss about it, both profound and mundane.

I will miss being able to go around the maze of its wards and buildings with confidence I will get to where I am going.

I will actually miss CO-OP food - especially the sisig.

I will miss knowing I am working with and am being taught by consultants who are among the most respected in their fields in my country.

I will miss working within a system that may not always work, but is one that I more or less understand.

I will miss the friends I have made over the years, who will still be working in the hospital long after I've said goodbye to it.

And, while I never thought I'd say this - I will also miss serving the patients of PGH, despite the many frustrations and many heartbreaking moments doing this entailed.

All of my memories and milestones as a doctor are intimately bound to this hospital's wards and corridors. The first time I delivered a baby. The first patient I cried over. My first mortality. These events and more like it have shaped me and defined the kind of doctor I have become today. And I know that whatever meager clinical acumen I have gathered in my years of stay here, I owe to the patients of this hospital, who, perhaps out of sheer desperation, have trustingly placed their lives in my hands over the years.

While I have often complained about the frustrations all residents encounter - lack of supplies, the slave-like work hours, the sorry condition of our patients' health and lives - I cannot deny that the underlying routine of a resident's life has always been a comfort to me. For the past three years, it has been good to wake up knowing what I will be doing for the rest of the day - working at PGH.

At this point, more than ever, the option to pursue a fellowship in the only hospital I've ever known is tempting. But I also know that for me to stay on at this point in my life will be taking the safer option, a refusal to go into the deep.

So despite the wrenching fear that grabs at me at the thought of saying goodbye to PGH and all that it means, I choose to leap into the unknown future with eyes tightly closed, and let myself be led on by fate. And hope that one day, if my roads lead me back home to this hospital, I will still be welcome.


Em Dy said...
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Em Dy said...

I felt the same when I left the hospital where I took up medicine, internship and residency. But there's a whole world out there. It may be difficult at first but it is indeed liberating and expands your horizons further. Choosing to make your mark in another venue is a wise decision.