I feel as though these days that I am currently experiencing are the end of a very formative chapter in my life and the beginning of the boldly beautiful unknown that is the rest of my life. Last month, I graduated from medical school and accomplished my lifelong dream of becoming a doctor. This month, I officially started my dream career as an Ob/Gyn and began hearing patients refer to me as “their doctor”. Talk about a couple of words that can make your heart do all kinds of flips! The blend of emotions that I feel is astounding – I am humbled, ecstatic, anxious, and so much more, but most importantly, I am grateful.
Life is such a crazy, beautiful thing, isn’t it? Sometimes, I wonder how much more confident my much younger self would be and how much easier she might have it if she could flash forward and see how far we’ve come.
Life is such a crazy, beautiful thing, isn’t it? Sometimes, I wonder how much more confident my much younger self would be and how much easier she might have it if she could flash forward and see how far we’ve come. What if she could see someone who looked like her accomplishing the dreams she dreamed but often doubted whether she would have the ability to achieve or worse, even the opportunity to access? What if she received mentorship from someone from a similarly challenged background to help navigate the impostor syndrome she would inevitably feel along her path toward those dreams? Then, I’m reminded that every struggle, uncertainty, and mistake shaped me into the person and now doctor that I am today, and the fruits of that journey are my most valuable assets.
I thank God for his favor, especially the supportive and loving village of family, friends, and mentors with which he has surrounded me. Of course, I am incredibly grateful to the educational institutions that I have attended for seeing something in me that I sometimes failed to see in myself and helping me to build invaluable knowledge and skills. Moreover, I am in complete awe of my village for teaching me the intangibles of real life and true love, because those lessons have led to my most meaningful growth. They have taught me the complexity of the human experience, greatly increasing my capacity for not only ensuring the highest quality of care for my patients, but also simply being the best version of my authentic self that I can be.
My sentiments are illustrated perfectly in an excerpt of the essay that helped to accomplish the miracle of getting me into a top business school (part of my master plan to become an MD/MBA who transforms health systems to optimize women’s and family health):
“Although neither my parents nor generations of their parents went to college, my mother taught me to value hard work, education, and perseverance. Her unyielding discipline was life-changing for me. Although I lacked academic and professional role models in my youth, I learned about the hardships and triumphs of life as well as the importance of integrity, compassion, and loyalty from witnessing my family members support each other.”
As the admissions committee seemed to agree, there was something in the lessons from my upbringing and my village that no curriculum could ever teach nor any standardized test could score. To everyone in my village, at home, in academia, and beyond, I thank you from the depths of my heart for loving, teaching, and uplifting me!
I am indeed my ancestors’ wildest dream, and I honor the fact that I stand on the shoulder of the many giants who have come before me. With great privilege comes great responsibility, and I view it as a blessing to be able to share my journey to hopefully help inspire and uplift others. However, I am also human enough to understand that I will need to balance giving with also being on the receiving end of such support. I am just an ordinary human being demanding the extraordinary for myself, and I want to also inspire the same in others. Although residency and the medical career ahead of me will be a challenge of epic proportions, I am determined to simultaneously succeed professionally and personally by continuing to live my HAPPIest life along the way – a life committed to Health, Authenticity, Passion, Purpose, and Innovation.
I love reflective writing and believe that it has the power to not only help me to better process my experiences, but also share those experiences with others who may benefit in some way, whether big or small. My newly minted lifestyle blog is entitled The HAPPIest MD, and my brand spanking new social media pages are all @TheHAPPIestMD on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. As I am rising to the challenge of living my HAPPIest life as an Ob/Gyn Resident, I plan to publish blog posts every few months on second Sunday afternoons, alternating through different HAPPIest life principles (Health, Authenticity, Passion, Purpose, or Innovation) with each post. For this month, I’ll be posting a whole 7-days worth of content to celebrate the fact that it’s LAUNCH WEEK! Of course, I’ll also add in extra posts in the future as life’s memorable moments and major milestones inspire me. I invite you to join me on my journey to and through the HAPPIest life while also braving a very special journey of your own. Please subscribe to my blog, stay tuned for upcoming content, connect with me on social media, and send me any questions, requests, or other comments you may have. Feel free to share this message and my future posts with others! In the meantime, let’s all do our best to live our HAPPIest lives!
With Love and HAPPIness,
The HAPPIest MD
P.S. Tune in tomorrow for Launch Week Day 2, featuring a Health principle post, “Self Care is the Best Care Part 1: The Best Lesson from the Worst Year of my Life”. In the meantime, feel free to visit my About page to learn more.