Tag Archives: friends

Match Day 2013: Dreams Do Come True

(Match Day: every year, medical students across the country will open an envelope on 3/15 to find out where they will go for the next 4-10 years of their training in their chosen specialties. The hospital and student preferences/selections are determined by a computer algorithm after 3-4 months of grueling cross the country interviews for desired candidacy.)

Match Day!

Match Day!

26 years ago, my mom loved me enough to leave me in China with my amazing and loving grandparents. She came to America alone to pursue an education and a future for me. She wanted to bring me to a place where any of my dreams can have a chance. I came to America 9 years later.

In 7th grade, Mr.Honda had a farm of chickens, rabbits (with countless bunnies), and a classroom iguana. I fell in love with biology the day he made us plant vegetable gardens on the back alley of Paul Revere Middle School. I touched a giant potato bug, screamed and almost threw up (please google potato bug).

At 13, I remember calling 911 and a random lady drove by and stopped to hug me while I panicked in front of my house. Later that night, I stood in the corner and watched some Kaiser critical care doctors save and stabilize my grandma. My prayers for more time with her were answered. I thought it would be “cool” if I became a Kaiser doctor one day.

At 17, I was jumping with my little sister on my bed after opening my UCLA acceptance e-mail, I was going to my dream college.

On my 19th birthday, I listened when Annie told me that my best friend and roomie, Karen, passed away from cardiac arrest, 4 hrs after I told her no one dies from coughing, 8 hrs after watching her laugh over my bday dinner. Her mom came to clean up her room, and I will never forget the face of a mom who had just lost their child. In that place of guilt, and pain, I chose to become a doctor…selfishly hoping I will never be that helpless again.

4yrs ago, I was in Washington DC on my Georgetown interview when I received the call that I was accepted to my dream medical school UCSD.

On 3/15/2013, I opened an envelope on match day that realized a lifetime of little hopes and once impossibly long term dreams. I will be starting my life as an internal medicine resident physician at Kaiser Permanente.

Every doctor tells me I will never forget my match day. I thought of my amazing family who gave me the love, and support to pursue dreams that are often so out of anyone’s control, and so distant. My friends whose crazy shenanigans, and advice allowed me to survive the last 4 grueling years with sanity and fun. My incredible teachers who taught me to be passionate and perfectionist with my education.

And lastly, God, for giving me the beautiful and truly wonderfully blessed life that I do not deserve.

A Beautiful Morning

Hello 2013! You’re a big year for me:

1.matching for residency (internal medicine) 3/15

2.graduating from UCSD 6/2 

Skyline <3

San Diego, California

Both of these I consider life defining events, and in-between all these things will be getting Step 2 CS results, submitting my research paper, ICU rotation, and figuring out my residency rank list which I set out to do this week. As I’m wrapping up my interview season, I’m becoming more and more certain of which geographic region I want to be, but more confused which program will be the perfect fit for me. Everything I set out on excel to measure how well a residency program will fit my personality has been trampled by my ultimate gut instinct preferences (which strangely, is the exact opposite of the excel score sheet).

photo (5)

French toast 🙂

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Blackberry pancakes 🙂

So, I decided to spend the morning with friends, having a yummy breakfast, and…taking my own new year resolutions to heart…see the ocean, and taste some goodies (so amazing!)

The view is incredible! (Pacific Beach)

The view is incredible! (Pacific Beach)

Reflections on the First 2 Years of Medical School

“Every new beginning comes from some other old beginning’s end.” –Closing Time, Semisonic 

9/9/2009 First day of med school

5/20/2011 Last day of second year

The second year of medical school ended last Friday and marked the conclusion of our preclinical years. I’m so happy and proud for all of my classmates. We’ve come so far from that first day under the warm San Diego sun when we put on our little white coats and took pictures with our overjoyed parents. We were so full of hope and ambition for the next 4 years. And, in a blink, 2 years have gone by. We’ve completed over 60 exams, we drank gallons of coffee, we’ve slept in the library, missed important outside events, pulled our all nighters, shed our tears, and shared our laughs.

In behavioral science, we learned to see the patient and not the disease, always. In clinical medicine, we listened and diagnosed aortic stenosis for the first time. In free clinic, we spent time healing the homeless and those who can not afford healthcare because our world does not see the relief from suffering as a fundamental human right.

As I look back on these 2 years, I learned some important lessons:

1.I can learn much more from failure than from success

2.I am not defined by my career or my achievements

3.I am defined by how I embrace, accept, and overcome my failures

4.The most important attributes to have as a physician is humility and compassion

5.To always do right by the patient no matter what

6.Your friends and family will get you through anything

7.Take the challenges one day at a time

I can’t help but miss the last 700 days, days that I once wished so much to pass by quickly. As we begin our 3rd year as clinical students, we no longer sit in a classroom of 120 students. We no longer chat and waste time before exams. We no longer take pictures of each other falling asleep in lecture.

We will now work on separate teams with real responsibilities to real patients. We are finally introduced to real medicine. I am scared of the new set of challenges and responsibilities, but most of all, I am excited!

In the words of Semisonic’s song closing time – “every new beginning comes from some other old beginning’s end.”

Goodbye preclinical years, and thank you for the ways you’ve helped me grow. And Ms3, here I come =)