Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gearing up

Sundays are sort of the abyss of the week. The weekdays are full up with work and preparing for work. Saturday is full of errands and social engagements. Sundays are different. There may be something going on in the morning, a walk or sunday pancakes or catching up with laundry. Towards the end of the day, though, it gets very quiet especially if your domestic partner is a dog. Thoughts of work start to creep into your head.

Last week was particularly rough, work-wise. We're out of cold and allergy season and people are actually coming in because they have real problems. Very real, very complicated problems. They are sick and scared and have been asking questions so difficult that I don't even know where to begin. On top of that, sometimes I feel that my grasp of basic medicine is not very firm.

Friday night I went salsa dancing with some friends in Albuquerque. It was a benefit for the American Association of Minorities in Medicine. We met up with a few other friends; Seema, who is rounding the corner of her first year in Physician Assistant school at UNM, and Jose, who was set to graduate the very next day. Seema is in the stressed out, ready to fall apart portion of PA school where the end seems so far away that you can't even imagine what it will be like when you don't spend every waking moment studying or worrying. Jose is in a rosier place than that. He's done with the worst part. Now all he has to do is prepare for the certification exam, pass it, get his license and then a job. No problem.

Then its the job. The first year of working as a PA you know a little bit off the top of your head and know where to look up the rest of it. A full year after my own graduation I know I love what I do, but sometimes I don't know if I know what I'm doing. My mentors, who've been practicing for 20 and 30 years, tell me this is a normal thing. Sometimes, after all these years, they still don't know what they're doing.

So, the trick with Sunday nights, and maybe with all of the nights is to stay in the moment and not worry to much about what's going to walk through the door the next day.

Like Ginger Rogers sang in "Swing Time"; Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.

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