Just got my medical school alumni newsletter. It highlighted the momentous event in every medical student's school years, Match Day. It was wonderful seeing all those pictures of happy faces as they opened up their envelopes. I remember all the seniors would be gathered in a conference room that morning. Everybody was nervous but also anxious to find out their destiny. For the most part, people usually got into the field they sought, if not necessarily the location they desired. Then there were the surprises. Some people matched into fields that were totally unexpected. Then you realized you didn't know people as well as you thought.
I was happy to see that about four percent of this year's graduating class decided to pursue anesthesiology. Good luck to all of them. And I'm sure some of those who matched into surgery will switch into anesthesia, there usually are a few. But we'll welcome the late comers like everyone else as they cross over into the light from the dark side. But they will all start to work harder than they've ever worked, harder than they thought possible. They'll realize that even though medical school was tough, residency is even tougher. The hours, the responsibilities, the lack of personal time.
But maybe residencies have changed since I was in one. As I've previously written, residency hours are being drastically cut back. They may actually have a few free weekends to themselves now without any patient responsibilities. And the new graduates will be entering a medical field that may undergo changes greater than any seen in the last forty years. The great thing about youth is that they will adapt ably and competently while us old geezers complain about the good old days. Looking at all those smiling faces makes me realize how good my life has been, how I should be proud of the privileged life I've led as a physician. So in the last week, I've smiled a little bit more for my patients, tried to not let evil surgeons ruin my day. Yes it's good to be me.