A hurried reflection…

There is a quote from Matthew Arnold, “Journalism is literature in a hurry.” This is journalism. Tonight was one of those nights when people flowed through the emergency department doors like water. There’s no catching up on nights like these – you ride the wave, breathe deeply, take care of the important things. I was caring for between 10 and 11 patients, keeping good pace with the attending. There was a young woman who presented in tears after getting drunk and driving into her ex-boyfriend’s house, absolutely unable to contain herself. The idea was revenge – the result was devastation, and a loud, whining, weeping presence in the emergency department all night long. It is a curse that psychiatry consults only happen in the morning here. This all happened in light of a funeral for someone who was well-known in these parts – a fatal motorcycle accident on the highway. And so the tone of the night was set – a grim, reflective, and chaotic gray cloud settled over the emergency room and hung there through the night, a hushed reminder of the world around us.

Aside from this, I have one final shift left in the emergency department as an intern. Yes, my time has come… This also marks the beginning of a three-week vacation. I can’t quite believe I survived the year without taking vacation, but somehow I managed it. Now I will have the next 24 days of my life free from the hospital, clinical obligations, medicine. Most importantly, free from being a doctor. Starting tomorrow at 7AM, I can be whoever I want to be and I can forget medicine all together. What a lovely thing.

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