“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