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Breathing space

June 6, 2010

I shouldn’t give too much thought to life after finals since my written papers are the day after tomorrow [!OMG!!11one] but I’m trying to get my head around what I want to get out of emigrating and am I taking on too much by trying to secure a medical job straight away.  One of the reasons I decided to take on a big move was because jumping on the junior doctor conveyor belt in the UK wasn’t for me and booking a one-way flight was like taking back some control and popping the security bubble that has been my life for over 6 years.

So… is working as a doctor abroad the right thing to do or am I going through the process because it will bring me more security? I’m not in a place where I can afford to be fussy, but if I the opportunity to untangle knots in my heart is there, so I may as well take it.

Human drop in the ocean - that's not me. I was trying out the zoom on my camera. Thank you, snorkelling stranger!

Then there is the guilt. Halfway through our Bali trip, R and I were invited by a fisherman to his house for supper. Incidentally, his wife grilled the best mackerel I’ve ever had and I will spent the rest of my life going mad in trying to recreate it.

As the night progressed, we were talking about our lives and although I didn’t volunteer the information, my medical training came to light and the man beamed and said how proud my family must be and what an achievement it is. It was certainly a humbling experience, but I got that familiar pang in my gut, similar to times when patients – through their illness or pain – tell me how they wish me luck in my career.

I feel like a fraud. I get a lump in my throat when I think of my loved ones and the pride they exude because I am about to turn my back on a career path, like a toddler who has just thrown a bowl of pureed organic carrots on the floor, that his mother spent hours lovingly preparing.

Putting my logical hat on…

1) a medical degree doesn’t have an expiry date, so I’m not abandoning ship

2) a lot of my thoughts come down to my feelings of inferiority I had going through medical school – getting good grades, making a diagnosis or cannulating successfully meant very little because I would always put it down to luck than my own abilities.

It can go two ways: I can try to secure a medical job and prove myself wrong while I work, or I can take some time out and get involved with another project that has come to light which I think would suit me very much. I once read that in times of indecision, the best thing to is nothing. So I’m going to do just that. Then I remember that I can’t, because I’m revising.

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