Op-Ed: The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD
I’m a physician in my late thirties based in South Florida. I got my degree in psychology but had to quit my medical school training to take off with me in my car to see the world. I did not want to be a doctor.
Then I realized that if you want to be a doctor, you have to do two things: you have to go to medical school and then you have to have some kind of post-graduate training in a specialty in a medical discipline.
I decided to do that.
And now I am a pediatrician.
I had to go through one of those programs — a residency — but the one that I was most nervous about was the one that was the most prestigious. I had to take a year of training as an intern and then another year of training as a year-and-a-half resident at one of those top hospitals in New York.
And it was my first year, and I was really nervous and excited at the same time. They really wanted me to do that, so I was pretty nervous.
Then we came to the end of that first year, and I found out that I wasn’t going to get a spot that was one of the top, the most prestigious, the highest ranked spots. And I was devastated.
And for two weeks I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t eating. I was not sleeping at night. My wife and I talked about what had happened and we were both devastated.
So we went away for New Year’s and we just decided not to go back to the hospital. We stayed away from them for a few weeks. That was our decision. We decided not to go back to New York.
I was really glad to do that. And then I realized that they didn’t want me to go back to New York. They didn’t want me to go to one of the top spots anymore, so I went into the hospital to get my internship and then I went to Columbia-Presbyterian which I had never heard of before.