Well, at least I am until next Monday. But for the next three days, I’m going to enjoy retirement #1.
Nearly all of my career has been as a hospital doctor. From residency until yesterday, that is how I have identified myself professionally. I decided to do the math, and it comes out to 5659 days. That’s how long I have been in the trenches fighting the onslaught of disease. And the onslaught never stops. It’s a big number to be sure, but no where near as big as it how it feels. It also makes me feel like the next 5659 days will be very doable! Every job has stress, but the worry and concern of trying to make people better and not hurting or killing them in the process has been a heavy burden and I’m truly ready to lay that burden at the feet of my Lord and move on.
What most people fail to understand is that medicine is not simple, algorithmic equations. The drug I use to treat three people with the same straightforward pneumonia could cause no problems in one, extreme delirium in the second, and a fatal arrhythmia in the third. No shit. This is what your doctor has to consider every time they put you on a drug, as there is no such thing as a 100% safe medication. So yes, it’s been a long 5659 days. I’m sure I’ll get around to sharing some war stories as part of The 46 Project and it’s offshoots, but for the rest of today, I’m not going to think anymore about the past.
My new gig starts in three days. And just like old trees die in wildfire, new trees immediately start sprouting from their ashes. It will be nice to start anew and learn to see medicine from a different vantage point. Come Monday, I’ll be a baby tree.
But for today, I’m retired.