To all my wonderful friends at Hendricks Regional Hospital
It has been the utmost honor to be your pediatrician, colleague, and friend these past five years. I was pretty nervous coming out of residency, gearing up to start my first real job. I had trained, like, since I was a fetus for this moment. It was hard to believe that I was ready to shove off on my own and practice medicine. Only, I wasn’t really ready. To be honest, I faked it a lot at first, and hoped that everyone wouldn’t realize how nervous I was, or how many times I sprinted downstairs to my office to look stuff up. But I soon realized that I didn’t have to do that quite so much, because everyone around me was constantly looking out for me, and for each other. A lot of people like to ask me, as a doctor, if I am afraid of making mistakes. I’m now comfortable knowing that I am going to make mistakes, because I’m human. But the only way I might hurt someone, is by ignoring the concerns from the team around me. And it really is an amazing team. I like to picture us on a typical day as a bunch of arrows pointing in different directions, which is fine because we all had lots of responsibilities. But then…. Sh#t hits the fan. And like magic, those arrows became compass points and everyone suddenly points in the same direction, towards the same end of helping a sick mom, baby, or child. We worked together really well, especially when hierarchical titles were put on hold, and respect for each other’s talents and capabilities became the priority. Your effort and devotion you put into your work is something I will always admire, and never forget. In fact, I could never quite figure out why there was a ‘doctors’ day. I sometimes feel like we are the most spoiled profession in the world compared to the hardworking hospital staff I observed everyday.
(above: first day on the job 7/16/2012. Note all the hair. This was before kids)
I get quite a lot of satisfaction from my patient encounters. It’s what motivates me and makes me feel whole at the end of the day. But the most enjoyment by far was being welcomed by such cheerful faces (seriously!) each and every morning. You all let me into your lives, recounting accomplishments by your family, fun stories, and even sometimes your struggles. And it was reciprocated. I’ll never forget having a tough day, walking with my head down, when I passed one of the janitors in the hall. I didn’t even see her, but as I was walking by, she said sweetly, “cheer up!” It totally shook me out of my funk, and gave me a wonderful feeling of connectedness. These personal connections were so valuable to me, and I felt it all the time. I’ll surely miss this job, but it’s you all that I will really miss the most.
Thank you all for everything,