I was chatting with an old school-mate from my BA/MD program in New Jersey, Dr. Michael Obedian. He’s a night radiologist in the Mount Sinai system in Manhattan. While he’s not in the target demographic for this blog, he let me know that hearing from me weekly was a bright spot in an otherwise cloudy time. He had some encouraging words I thought were perfect for trainees struggling to find themselves in medicine, and then, some thoughts about trainee redeployment to the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. I wanted to share his thoughts with you: his poetry, from the heart of New York during the coronavirus outbreak.
Don't hold back
Embrace your identity
Faults and strengths alike
Break through the glass ceiling
Be a star
The best version of yourself
A leopard can't change their spots
Wear them with pride
This poem struck me as a beautiful way to express what so many of us women in medicine battle with. We are told we are too much, or not enough. But as humans, we all have faults and strengths. We can remind ourselves not to change our spots, but “wear them with pride.”
I hope his encouragement helps you today.
And some of Dr. Obedian’s reflections as he watches his residents be re-deployed to the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus.
This too shall pass
I'm so brave
I patrol the skies unmolested
Try to help as I can
But your bravery far supersedes mine
You fight the good fight on the ground
Risking everything: life, health, youth, innocence
Winning/losing at the same time
But winning and losing don't matter
Only Follow the quest:
Support loved ones, friends, and colleagues
Raise the vulnerable, elderly and infirm
Make holes whole
Redeploying the trainee troops to the battle field
The wards, ER, ICU, inpatient units
Waging war we never wished
Inspire and protect
Trying to reduce the morbidity and mortality
Mourning the daily losses
Yet when duty calls, Come
Family, friends, foes, strangers
Viral vector vehicles
Combating the invader
Resistance is NOT futile
High human costs
And finally, a note from Dr. Obedian, our poet reporting from the heart of New York:
To support our residents going above and beyond during the Covid pandemic, we are raising funds to provide meals and support for them during the next couple of months. As you know many residents have been reassigned to the floors, and have done an exceptional job. This fundraiser will go a long way in terms of resident morale. From the moment the residents heard about this idea they were elated and very appreciative. Please consider donating. There is no amount that is too little or too much.
Residents and freshly minted doctors who’ve graduated medical school early to get to work are bravely fighting this pandemic. Please donate what you can to feed and comfort them.
Safety and love,
The path can be riddled with failures, even if you're doing it right. In this recording, I share some of my gaffes with you.