Today was my last day of medical school.
I am officially a doctor.
I "walked" with my class back in May, which I still feel was my real graduation, because I wore the cap and gown, celebrated with my friends, had a beautiful little party, and wore terrific shoes.
But, now, in the cold of December, I am truly done. I finished six months later because I took time off between my second and third year when Blaise was born. I think the decision to take time off and just be a mom, just be a normal person for the first time in my life ranks up there with the best decisions I have made in my life.
Many of you were there with me in May to celebrate. But I never got the opportunity to share some graduation pictures with you.
I'm going to that that opportunity now.
These are some photos of my friends that I made during medical school. The best group of friends I've ever had in my life. Many of them were also moms and going through the same struggles I did. Now, we are all spread out across the country, studying vastly differently specialties. I'm doing my best to stay in touch.
I would not have made it through medical school without my family. My mom, who let me cry as much as I needed, and watched the boys when I really needed it. My dad who would let me ramble about interesting cases and "sound smart" with my new found "language." He also helped me realize how much there really is to know. My grandma, for setting such a wonderful example of what strong women can accomplish. My husband, for being there every single moment, both the good and the horrible; for talking me out of dropping out multiple times, for knowing when to just let me cry, and for never regretting a moment of it. My children, who kept me grounded and reminded me why I was doing what I was doing, and helping me keep my priorities straight. I love you all. I could not have done it without you.
My mom, Keith, me, my dad, my grandma
My dad, a physician himself, got to "hood" me at my graduation ceremony, or place the hood of graduation around my neck. It was an amazing moment, when he got to do for me what his father did for him. After he "hooded" me, he grabbed my hand and raised it up in the air, and shouted "Yes." Best moment of the ceremony!
Medical school was hard. And that is an understatement. Even now, on this side out it, I'm not sure I would do it again. But now that it is over, I'm excited to move on with the next phase of my life. Residency. I honestly believe the only people who can appreciate how difficult the training is are the people who go through it, and those who are married to them.
After my graduation ceremony was complete, I had a moment where I broke down in tears, just remembering the difficult moments. The tears were short lived, but therapeutic. This may be the best picture to depict the emotion my family felt at that time. No caption needed.
I'm not delusional that the hard times are over. I'm currently applying to anesthesiology residency, and very excited about it. But residency, especially intern year, will be the next difficult, draining step in my life. But if I ever doubt, I have the most wonderful inspiration...
So here's to the future.
(Now I need to go and work on my new doctor signature.)