September 28, 2017

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An Unconventional Path

September 28, 2017

 

So I thought I was going to be a pediatrician for most of my life... My grandmother was a pediatrician who died when my dad was 4 so he always wanted one of his kids to be a pediatrician in her honor.  Well, as the first-born, that was me.

 

Everything I did in college/medical school was for peds - youth community outreach programs, summer camp for kids whose parents have cancer, pediatric cancer research, etc.  Step 1 was do-able for peds (not so much ortho).

 

And then I did my peds rotation.  And I could not have been more miserable.  It just did not fit my personality.  Phenomenal field with incredibly bright and talented physicians - just not for me.

 

As someone who was an athlete for most of her life, ortho drew me in.  In January of my third year of medical school, I decided I wanted to pursue orthopedic surgery.  And I threw myself into it - all or none.

 

I shadowed ortho residents.  I picked up extra call with the residents (and tried to make myself useful).  I picked up research projects.  I studied my a** off for STEP 2 and did well.  I was lucky enough to land a year-long research fellowship and took a year off to do it.   That was probably one of the best and luckiest decisions I have ever made - phenomenal year with inspiring mentors, immense growth, and research productivity.  I was working the hardest I had ever worked and was probably the happiest I had ever been.

 

I am a full believer of hard work, perseverance, and humility.  And a little bit of luck.  You just need to find and surround yourself in those who believe in you and make the most of opportunities, no matter how big or small.

 

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