“How do you like residency so far?” That is the most common question I get asked now that I’m an intern. And I always say, “I like it sometimes.” Then they laugh, and I laugh and cry simultaneously inside.
I would like to instead say, “I like it!” But that wouldn’t be true because there have been more pain than rewards thus far in residency. I could say instead, “It sucks. I hate it.” But that wouldn’t be true either. Everyday is a struggle but there are long hard day that feel worthwhile and I carry myself to my apartment proudly patting myself on the back for my hard work; and there are just as many long hard days that I drive home feeding anger into the fuming little demon I secretly keep deep inside my heart.
There are nights that I end 2 hours after it was technically supposed to end, but I still continue to linger in the resident workroom chatting with other interns who are sadly working longer than me. There are plenty of days I point the blame at everyone else but myself for making my life so hard and frustrating. I love my patients, and I hate them too. My hospital is exactly where I wanted to work, and the place I want to change everything about. I am thankful to be a doctor, yet too often I wish I were the one lying in the hospital bed instead.
Every night I die, like some of our patients do. Then a couple hours before the sun rises I also rise with new life because I still have much more I want to give. It’s a weird coexistence of happiness and dread that I feel every time I drive to my hospital.
In the end, I think I like residency… sometimes.
– Simeon Koh