Thursday, October 4, 2007

Difficult Road

I got an email a few weeks ago that i found very interesting and after giving it a lot of thought, want to share it with you guys. I sincerely hope the person who wrote me won't be offended because that's not my purpose. But I think there are people who read my blog who might be able to get a lesson or two out of it.

"but have you wondered what things that you have done to some ways sabotage your path to doctorhood. Have you been completely honest. I don't think there are any martyrs out there down the path of doctorhood. I know that I personally at times made my path much more difficult for myself then it had to be. I am not trying to slam you...but I wonder if this is something you have given thought to!"

Here was my response:

To answer your question, I don't think there's a person alive who hasn't done something to hinder their progress in personally and professionally. I think the key is to learn from your mistakes and to keep pressing on. But as for sabotaging my path to becoming a physician, I don't think I have. I believe that I can get accepted MD/PhD again, because I think that's God's plan for me.

To be honest, people have repeatedly told me that being so outspoken on the Net and easy to identify, could hurt me in the future. For instance, a member of Mommd indirectly threatened to talk the director of the MD/PhD program at one of the schools on my list, where she happens to be an alum. But what she doesn't know is that I have contacts there that go way back and equally important, I keep the number of a good lawyer handy. And all this over a heated discussion over child car seats?

In real time, I've certainly had to learn to play the game, a skill I honestly didn't learn until I got older which is why I think that I have only now matured enough to move my career forward. I was much more of a hot head in my 20's but as you grow older, you learn to not take things so personal and/or to ignore folks. It's difficult to do sometimes, but at other times I usually just laugh to myself and go back to whatever I was doing before.

Once again, thanks for your comments!

The first thing I want to share with you all is that very early in my career when I look back, I could have really used someone keeping me in check so to speak. For example, taking O Chem I, Bio II, and Physics II, was a very dumb idea IMHO because I also had to work a lot during that semester. In general, I don't think people of color look out for each other which is what I think the person who sent me that email recently was trying to do and I certainly took it that way.

However, I think my character in difficult situations can be best seen by my actions when I refused as an undergraduate to sleep with a professor who propositioned me when I went to inquire about why I hadn't received the "A" grade I earned. I'm sure there are a LOT of people who would have given up the skins to get that 5 credit A, but not me. I'm not making a judgement call, I'm simply stating my personal choice. Now a lot of the "bridges" I've had to cross to get this far haven't been nearly as dramatic or required so much moral and personal sacrifice, but I have yet to regret a significant career decision I've ever made and I've been working for over 20 years. And the reason is REAL clear. God has ALWAYS had my back even when I didn't have my own.

In life, we all make mistakes and that's a huge part of growing up. Without mistakes, how else do you learn and more than that, how do you realize just how blessed you are? I think the key is to not have any regrets. For me, one very good way tell if you are aligned with Gods will for your life is to look at who's around you and how you're being moved in a certain directions without your knowledge. If the people around you support where you're heading, then you can be pretty sure you're on track. For example, I learned just yesterday that a highly regarded and powerful adcom member at my school is a part of my research project team and I had no idea! So the question comes up, who other than God could possibly have orchestrated that?

So I'll continue to keep my goals and dreams in Gods hands which is by far the safest place for them to be since it's obvious that even without any effort on my part, God's got my back. I simply need to decide when to go for it!

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