The Year Of The Dub

We're almost one month into 2022 and I must say, I've had a pretty good start to the year thus far.

At the time of my last post, I was just finishing up my six-week long inpatient rotation on a combined sub-specialty service (Cardiology/Gastroenterology) and was about ready for a nice and relaxing week-long holiday break. That break during New Year's did in fact turn out to be just as pleasant as I had envisioned it to be. My wife and I spent most of it at a beach in South Carolina, where we just rested and enjoyed each other's company in the midst of the warmer-than-average temperatures that the weather thrust upon us (for better or for worse…#ClimateChange). We also spent a day in Savannah, GA, where we toured the city and ate at some really delicious restaurants. It was a great way to ring in the New Year, and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it! At the same time, I also do look forward to a time where we can once again ring in the New Year in a party-like fashion like we used to in the pre-pandemic days.

Upon my return to work after the holiday break, I started my new rotation at an outpatient sick clinic in Greensboro, which was the same clinic that I rotated through around this time during my intern year shortly before the pandemic started. Throughout the past three weeks at this clinic, I've seen more viral upper respiratory illnesses than I can count, including an insane amount of COVID (+) diagnoses. It's wild y'all. I literally felt like I was working in a COVID hotspot. Then again, that's probably what it feels in thousands of other clinics and hospital settings across the country. Thankfully, the vast majority of these kids had mild symptoms and did not need to be hospitalized. I also completed two 24-hour call shifts throughout this time period, both of which were relatively calm compared to the ones that I've worked through in the past. I definitely have a snowstorm to thank for the calmness of my most recent one a couple days ago. 😅

Although I've been caring for an almost endless supply of sick children in clinic, this rotation has been overall more chill than some of the other ones I've recently been on over the past few months. Because of that, I've had more time to get other aspects of my life together. I've been able to allocate more energy to the other committees I'm involved in, to the projects that I've been working on with my mentors, to mentally prepare a bit more for my graduation from residency and subsequent chief year, to the voter registration project that I'm planning to implement at my institution, to improving my own physical and mental health, and to the rollout of the 2022 Desire To Inspire Scholarship. In addition, now that the Black Man, M.D. blog is owned by the entity of A Desire To Inspire, LLC (surprise! I created an LLC 😄), I want to see how far I can continue to take both this blog and this new business entity. After all the time I've had to brainstorm about this, I'm really excited about the endless potential of these projects!

Another thing that I'm really excited about is everything that lies in store for me this year! Apart from celebrating my one-year anniversary with my wife, the rollout of this year's DTI scholarship cycle, and the (hopeful) easing of the pandemic, I'm finally graduating from residency in about five months, which is just WILD. That being said, if you were to ask me if I was ready to graduate, I would respond with an emphatic “YES!”. Residency has been one of those experiences where it has felt like time has moved so fast yet so slow at the same time. I feel like I've been flying through these rotations (especially this year), but when I think back to the end of medical school and the subsequent start of intern year during the pre-pandemic days, it feels like that was a lifetime ago. Sure, the pandemic has warped our perspective of time in more ways than one, but even when you factor that out of the equation it still feels like so much has happened in the span of these past three years. I've grown so much in so many ways throughout this time and have developed into a confident and competent physician who also realizes that there is still SOOO much more to be learned.

No matter what I do, I'll never truly feel like I've learned enough during residency, which is why I've come to accept that I'll be as ready to become an attending as I'll ever be by the time I graduate this June. There will be a lot to learn during my time as chief resident, as a pediatric nephrology fellow and beyond, things that can only be learned when I'm actually working in those roles. As my class advisor once told me, “Once you've become very comfortable in your role as a resident, it's time to move on.” Even though there's still a lot that I feel like I could learn during my remaining time in residency, I've become quite comfortable as a senior resident and could pretty much find a way to reasonably navigate almost any situation that a resident could find themselves in. So with that said, it's about time for me to move on to the next stage of my career.

In addition to having have the end of residency to look forward to, I have both my upcoming chief year and fellowship application cycle to look forward to as well. I'm sure chief year will be a heck of an experience in so many ways. It will be a year of massive growth on a personal and professional level, and I'm sure I'll make some amazing relationships with other influential people during that time. There will also be many challenges to be overcome, which my team and I will undoubtedly face head-on with as much strength, wisdom and courage as we can muster. The two chief rotations that I have this semester prior to graduation will be critical in my transition into that role. The fellowship application cycle will be underway in conjunction with that transition, so as you can imagine, it is going to be a very busy period of time for me. Applying to fellowship means that I have to get all my application materials together once again, just like I did from high school to college, from college to medical school, and from medical school to residency. While taking the next huge step in one's career is always exciting, it can also be annoying to have to go through the expensive and time-consuming process to get to that next step. Nevertheless, I'm absolutely looking forward to my fellowship experience and to committing my career to the field of pediatric nephrology!

Don't got much else to say in this post, so I'm going to go ahead and end it here. Like I said in my last post, I'm claiming this year as “The Year of The Dub”, a year where we all win and continue to make great strides in each of our respective lives! Let's make a ton of wins this year and turn all our perceived losses into lessons, lessons that we can use to manufacture more wins! ✌🏿

“I will not lose, for even in defeat, there’s a valuable lesson learned, so it evens up for me.” – Shawn Carter (a.k.a. Jay-Z)

– Black Man, M.D.

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