Standing in the room listening to the slurs and curse words thrown my way, I knew I had one decision to make: would I follow my covenants and be God's witness? While this cuffed inmate continued to roll around the gurney screaming at me, would I care for and treat him as God's son, or would I walk away and treat him like the world was treating him? In a different instance, thinking about the bloody trauma bay days after everything settled down from a mass shooting, would I remember the individuals who pulled the triggers as angels of the devil or as God's children who had a family they loved but made some regrettable choices.
Last week, I went into my patient’s room pre-op & introduced myself: "Good morning! I'm Dr. Smith, I'm your anesthesiologist. I’ll be taking care of you today." I went on with usual preoperative questions & discussion. The patient’s preop nurse was in the room during this discussion. She turns & says, "I called anesthesia because I don't think I can get the IV." "I am anesthesia, I'm Dr. Smith." (insert awkward pause) "Oh, I thought you were the OR nurse".
Recently, I was able to go to church. As a surgical intern, these opportunities are unfortunately few and far between. Even rarer, is a Sunday when I am not coming off a night shift and can actually absorb what is taught. On this occasion, the theme for sacrament meeting was Edify One Another. I was impressed by the speakers, but as I reflected on my own life, felt restricted in my available time outside of work to serve others. Realistically, how could I edify someone else when I’m working 80 (or more) hours/week?
Dear Mormon Girls Who Want to Go to Medical School:
I've talked to a few of you in my day. You're remarkable human beings, committed to giving back to a world that has given you so much. You want to be pediatricians, natural disaster respondents, and leaders of medical teams eradicating disease in the world's most impoverished regions.
From a young age I had a desire to become a doctor. Upon hearing my plans, teachers and parents would say “Well, we will see what you decide once you are married.” While attending a state university, I met my husband in my junior year. We got married with the understanding that I would not pause my education to help him obtain his own. A few months after getting married I became pregnant. My husband was my biggest supporter and I managed to graduate with my BS in Biology with a three-month-old daughter “cheering”.