I seize. / With emotion, not motor.
To help a soul / To heal a wound / To hold a hand / To walk again
Here I am, come and get me! A playful provocation we have all used with much more than literal meaning as a mantra. But going through the rigors, chills and metaphorical bacteremia of medical education, I lost some of the pieces that made me confident to be myself.
Collide, Rip, Shred / Microthrombi ahead / Schistocytes I discover
Like most times on call, the day had been busy. / I’d been running in circles, my head in a tizzy.
I used to joke that after having my twin girls, my breasts no longer belonged to me. / Forget about possession, let’s talk about existence.
I waited for nine months to meet you. / I know that one night I loved a woman and then you, a blackberry of cells, found your place in her fertile garden and you grew there
I recorded a time-lapse video of an entire night of in-house overnight call at the hospital. Mom & Dad — I love how you think of me, but this is what residents actually do.
On St. Patrick’s Day 2014, New York’s coldest in a decade, I was a grass snake banished from the fair isle of pediatrics. In the National Residency Matching Program, just half of one percent of approximately 2,500 pediatrics slots across 194 programs remained unmatched, something like four total positions nationwide.
In the 1950s, my grandmother wanted to be a doctor. She asked her father for her dowry money, wanting to use it instead to get her medical degree to become the first female doctor in her hometown. She married another doctor and practiced from an office below her home, accepting vegetables and dry-cleaning services as pay.
“Good morning, I’m Dr. Watt and I’m going to be taking care of you today.”
Dear intern: I see you. Yes — you over there. That unsuspecting look on your face tells me exactly what you must be thinking. You are no longer a medical student which means you are no longer invisible, or, at best, ancillary.