Just so much learning.

I swear I think this away rotation was a really good idea. I’m feeling new things everyday that reinstill my passion in why I wanted to pursue the career I wanted to do in the first place … I was really hoping that I would somehow reignite that spark of passion I always had for learning, for knowing medicine, and realize again why I love to do what I do.

Today was my first day of experiencing the MD Anderson Cancer Center. It is a really nice medical center, let me start with talking about that. The facilities are just something entirely different from what I’d experienced at Tulane (not to bash on Tulane, I absolutely love the residency program there but you have to admit, they are a bit behind …. well that and I’m comparing it all to the grand all mighty MD Anderson Cancer Center). The attending I worked with today was one of the  most patient people I’ve met. Haha it was funny because the fellow I worked with was super excited to introduce me to him and then explained on, “I figured since you are both Korean that it would be a good experience for our student.” Hahahaha …. but either way, I was extremely happy to finally step foot into MD Anderson … it was my whole reason for driving the extensive 5 hours and shelling out so many $$$ for an away rotation!!

The attending physician I worked with I had to admit was a decently good looking man. He reminded me of the typical doctor on Korean drama shows (o the irony) … at least one that doesn’t wear glasses (cuz quite often they do)! I just really liked how he was so enthusiastic of teaching me and he barely showed any signs of being jaded from the many years of residency yet he wasn’t hesitant to admit what he didn’t like in his work. Sure, I give credit for people being honest, just don’t be complaining all the time. I learned so much (hopefully I can retain more) from one session with him and he offered me to visit his clinic whenever he was there. Aaaahhh, the excitement!!

I don’t know what it is about cancers, I find the diseases absolutely fascinating. They are just so different from any kind diseases and just the treatments that researchers come up with to eradicate a disease with such high morbidity and mortality is so amazing to me! Yes, people do tend to associate the specialty of oncology as being depressing since patients do die … but they survive too!! And what more beauty is it when you find a treatment for a disease so bizarre and destructive? I feel in that definition, that is the type of doctor I want to become. I don’t expect myself to be anywhere near some big shot oncologist or a department chair – nor do I expect myself to, I still want some balance in my life – but I do want to be good at what I love doing. In the end, I want to be known for being good at something.

Though I am a little more soft spoken about it, I do have a slight competitive edge. However, as I am not the very creative type, I cannot start with a blank slate. I need to get suggestions, ideas from others in order to get a conceptual picture of how I would like to run things myself. So it’s helpful for me when I see someone who presents a strong example of what a good physician should be like … and from there on, I pick and choose the characteristics I would like to retain as a part of the excellent doctor I want to become. I am one who refuses to think that she can’t do more; I always believe there’s room for improvement …. which is also a part of my fear of doing things because I’m afraid that I will have trouble recognizing my limits. When is so much too much? When will I realize that I’m biting off more than I can chew (because I do burn out, no doubt)?

Either way, I’m so excited to continue thinking about the specialty I want to pursue. I really do love heme-onc, moreso oncology now than hematology but both subjects are very interesting to me either way. I just freak out every now and then in realizing how much I can handle …. and sometimes, I really do amaze myself.

Did I really come this far? Even I can’t believe it sometimes.


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