Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy


The Decision

After my interview I head back to the hotel, change into more comfortable clothes, and take a stroll around town. Street jazz bands play while the warm breeze gently caresses the city. People take it slow down here in the South. Today during the interview a woman stopped our group, "Y'all should know I'm the survivor of a pul-mow-nary em-bow-luss. Thanks to God Almighty and to y'all wonderful doctors, I'm still here today to speak with you. God bless". And she continued upon her way, a smile on her face.

An Irish pub with cheap Guinness beckons, and I sit at the bar with a few NASCAR fans. One offers me some chicken tenders, which I politely decline. Eventually the conversation turns round to jobs. The guy next to me, Budweiser in hand, with a flannel shirt and a trucker hat, speaks up.

"So, buddy. What brings you all the way out here from the southwest?"

Slowly, drinking my beer, I reply. "ER residency, actually. Your hospital out here is one of the best in the nation."

"Now, that's a job I can respect. Me, I roof houses." He pauses, catching a quick glance at the cars flying around the track. "You seen people die? And there ain't nothin' you can do about it?"

"Yep," I reply, "it can be pretty rough."

"So what makes it worthwhile? I think I'd up and quit the first time someone died on me."

I pause. This is the most honest question I've gotten on the interview trail, and it isn't from an attending, a resident, or a program director.

"I suppose," I slowly say, "I suppose it's when you can help people that makes it all worthwhile. When you can look someone in the eye and tell them they'll be ok."

He smiles quietly, as though I said just what he expected to hear from a doctor in the making. I smile too. We clink glasses and toast, then sit back and watch the cars race around the track in comfortable silence. This is a good place for me.

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  1. the south can be a wonderful place. a part of me can’t wait to experience other places of living, but i know i’ll end up back in the south when it’s all said and done.

    good luck with your rank list!

  2. I’ve been reading this blog for a while, and while i have no connection to you I really appreciate every time you post something.

    This was interesting because, although I’m not going through a process even slightly as rigorous as you’re going through when it comes to your decision, I’ve been flipping out and really worrying about a transfer I’m making soon and how that’s going to affect me and shape who I am and what my life is going to be like from here on out. And it’s interesting because like you said, I can see it happening and my goals don’t involve any outward specificities, so it’s really just being able to see things change in front of me but not really sure that I have a place in regulating it anymore – it’s just picking a direction.

    Anyway. I live in the South. And if I knew more about your field of interest, I’d try to guess where you were talking about. But I assume that’s a bad idea.

    And aside from that, I guess I’m rambling like this just because I thought it was interesting that I read this tonight, thinking about leaving my home down here, at the point of making a decision that will direct my life a little more, and I guess I got a feeling of something being symbolic, or relatable, or something.

    Summed up: Good luck, sincerely. And I really like Agraphia.

  3. Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them! It’s kind of a weird time in my life, knowing that this decision will irrevocably shape my life – or at least the next 3-4 years of it.

  4. On behalf of the South, welcome. 😉

  5. Cool story. Good luck with the whole process!

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