See you later alligator!

“I love crocodiles. They’re like little tiny babies,” number three reports from her seat in the back. The next question: “Mom, do you love little tiny babies”, hits me from left field, but I swing with an, “Absolutely. I love you, baby. Yes ma’am.” However, lately, I’ve been up to my armpits in alligators. HardshipAnd, I am not loving that. Nope. No way. No how. This is not the adventure I wanted to take. Never-the-less, here I am.

Premedicine students see the beauty of medicine for all of the things it can be. The chance to develop a cure. The opportunity to offer a cure developed. Patients graciously accepting a developed cure and well, being cured. Or perhaps they see the chance to intervene in a patient’s life prior to the development of disease. Offering preventative medicine to interrupt the disease process prior to its onset. Maybe educating parents on the developmental milestones for their little tiny babies. Even still, the premedicine student may see the possibility of offering comfort to patients when there is no cure. Premedicine students see medicine in its purest form. The reason we all set off on the adventure.

As medical students, the medicine becomes the adventure. Learning the science of medicine itself is the challenge. Miles of books to be read, seas of drugs to be learned, mountains of tests to be taken. Once the finish line of med'$600 may be a lot for a pair of boots, but this was the best purchase of my life.'ical school is passed, the adventure continues through residency. Residency is where you BEGIN the adventure that is learning the ART of medicine. A friend once told me you can train anyone the science, but it takes a person with the inner gift to master the art of medicine. Our gifts are revealed in times of turmoil and distress. I remember something about coal and diamonds…but I digress. Frederick Douglas said, “Without struggle, there can be no progress.” The last year fighting alligators in the swamp has helped me to progress – as a mother, as a physician, as a friend, and as a wife.  Take no prisoners, leave no witnesses.  I have learned a very powerful lesson. “Don’t taunt the alligator, until you’ve crossed the creek.”

alligatorsHowever, there may be a diamond in this rough yet. I start on a new adventure tomorrow. I am excited. I am hopeful. I am certain I will be reminded of the initial beauty of medicine. What I am not – is looking back.

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