I half-expected that I wouldn’t get a response. It was the week of July 4, and given the track record of certain governing people at a certain school, hitting reply on emails was not, let's say, their forte. Still, when Monday morning had approached, and I still had no clear direction on what I was supposed to do, I emailed again.
I’m going to plan on showing up this morning to my rotation, since it seems like it would be better to start a rotation and then to stop, than to miss the first day and jump in later. Can someone please give me some guidance regarding the protocol I should be following…?
No clear direction had been the theme of the past year anyway. When I sat in the student health center a week earlier, waiting to get my PPD, a fellow classmate had plopped down beside me.
“I haven’t seen you all year!, she exclaimed.
“That’s probably because I took the year off,” I replied.
“Nice! What did you do?,” she asked, expectantly.
With no way to cushion her for the inevitable let-down, I just said it:
“I slept a lot, traveled with my boyfriend, and got a dog,” I continued.
There was no Fulbright scholarship. No major life goal accomplished. No serving of the underserved or fighting a tropical disease in India. There was just Remi and me watching our Netflix, owning the local park like bosses, trying new recipes for fun, and sleep—glorious sleep, how I missed you!
In the language of medical ambition and accomplishment, though, there was no life direction.
If I was honest with myself and with you, I would tell you that I prayed about this and had a little heart to heart with God over the past several months. The outcome of that was that I needed to give medical school the middle finger and get on with my life. Medical school has been the single most emotionally, financially, and spiritually abusive endeavor of my life. And, you know what? I don’t think it’s worth it.
I want my time, my energy, my creativity, my self-confidence, and the hope of having a normal, healthy family more. But, I’m also very cautious, ambitious, stubborn, and terrified of poverty.
For all of the people who love throwing the words, “father issues” around, I own up to them. I have a sob story of my father walking out on my family, fighting my whole life to keep my head above water, and working towards a career that would hopefully render me financially stable. And when it comes right down to it, I’m afraid to drop out with a mountain of debt and no idea of how to (reasonably) pay it back.
So, there I was at the hospital on Monday morning.
Unfortunately, it was after I had signed in, showed my face, and made small talk with the other students that I finally got a response from someone in charge.
You are not to start your rotations until the results of Step 1 have been released.
I wrote back, again asking for guidance on what to do. Did I get up and walk out of the hospital? Say that I wasn’t going to complete this rotation? Was I going to complete this rotation? Where was the proverbial paper bag to hide my face in embarrassment?
I apologized to the clerkship director on behalf of a very disorganized group of people with an inability to reply to emails and left the hospital. Approximately 48 hours later, I got this:
Except, I still don’t know when I can go back. I don’t know if I can go back. I don’t know who to talk to. I’m forcing myself forward with an endeavor that I least want to do and again, I have no assistance and no direction.
What I do have is a Netflix subscription, four new books, and apparently, at least another month to figure out what I am going to do with my life.