Looking back, residency was a lot of what I expected. We worked hard and long hours, we dealt with emergencies and impossibly difficult situations, and we cried. We also laughed, went on trips, and celebrated holidays together. What stands out is the “we” part, who we are. I didn’t know how lucky I would be to find such an amazing group of co-residents and mentors to move through this journey with. My training at Iowa will always be a part of who I am.
When I first matched into residency, I thought I’d made it: that I was finally standing in the rarefied air only the hardest-working, most intelligent people at the forefront of science and medicine could breathe. But I walked in my first day and was immediately met by nurses, nurse practitioners, PAs, and other advanced providers who not only had already been working my dream career, but doing it better than I ever could. These providers have been some of my most invaluable teachers. Every day I am reminded my degree is just that—a couple of letters—and that the goal we work toward transcends title or rank. I’m forever grateful to get to be a part of this incredible team.
Three years ago when I moved to Iowa, not knowing anyone, I had no idea what was in store. I’d heard there was a steep learning curve and I was prepared for late nights, but I wasn’t prepared for the magnificent people that I would encounter. I have made forever friends here and found my soulmate to boot. Friendsgiving, TV watch parties, international travel, and getting married are the things that stand out when I reflect on the past 3 years. These are all in the setting of expanding my medical knowledge exponentially, caring for patients in their most trying times, and interacting with top-notch attendings, residents, nurses, and medical assistants.
I came into residency thinking that it was all about work—and that’s true, the work is a large and gratifying part of it. What I didn’t realize, however, is that it’s also about family. I’ve made lifelong friends through this program. I’ve seen them get married, have babies, and choose their career paths. I’ve met kind, thoughtful, compassionate individuals who inspire me to be a better doctor. Our residency class grew up together at Iowa and I’ll forever be grateful for being part of that journey.