First off I’d like to apologize to my frequent readers who lately have had to deal with my inconsistency. I have been away from this blog since last year, November to be precise; and between that time and now so many things have happened both great and horrible. I have been reflecting upon my life and trying to view it from a different perspective. A perspective that not only will ensure the succession of my dreams, but it will nourish my understanding and expand my knowledge. I’d like to tell you all good luck, God bless and have a happy new year. Three months ago I thought I knew what I was doing, I had my life all planned out… But the truth is that a couple months later and I’m not sure if I want to go through with my previous wants. Right now I have money (job), a girlfriend who’s not only beautiful on the outside but on the inside as well, love, and a good life.

Do I want to throw most of these current things away in order to ensure a better future? Or do I want to keep several of these things, but loose the one thing I’m falling in love with? I feel as though I’m being torn apart, from one perspective life is good and what more could I want? But from another, it seems as though I need to sacrifice these things in order to truly live up to my greatest potential. One thing that I’ve managed to learn throughout all of these years has been that life waits for no one…but instead you can only hope to catch up with life. My goals are clear, and my motives are pure. However my mind is blurred as my feelings are definite. Well till next time, hopefully it will be sooner than later. I appreciate you reading my blog, and hope to hear from you all. Have a wonderful morning, day, or afternoon, because you deserve it.

NewLifeDrJ

“I sat there in pain, but in victory”

“To my family and doctors, I was just another kid with the desire of something that I could NEVER have… But deep down inside I knew myself, I knew the truth, and I knew my limits… I got tired of everything and everyone that was against me, then one afternoon as I lay on my bed numb to reality and alive to pain, I decided that I was going to climb over “my barrier”… You may call me stupid, dumb, or just a plain idiot… But I was determined, and I knew that the only thing that could possibly stop me; was me, as I left my house and brutally limped towards my impediment, I heard only my definite conscious focused on my distinct goal. I eventually reached the fence and momentarily paused for a few seconds, starring at the monster, I had to admit, that it looked like it was more than I could handle… I took a glance at my feet, then to the sky, as I reassured myself of my decision. I steadily grabbed the fence and stuck my diminutive fingers through the wholes, I put my left toes through the openings, and then I took a deep breath as I slowly proceeded to lift myself up…”

“Before I knew it I was about two feet off the ground and in dire pain… Nevertheless I kept going… It felt as though my leg was going to fall off… The throbbing pain tickled what was left of my senses… At that moment nausea decided it was time to take over… (Part of my “sickness” kept me from fully extending my foot outward, due to the Achilles tendons “stunt growth”.) As tears trickled down my face I became even more determined… I pushed through the pain, I pushed through the negative thoughts, and I managed to regain part of my conscious and kept going… My teeth clattered, and my mouth salivating, this only made my determination and perseverance reclaim their defeat over my barrier… As I reached the top, I rested at the “peak”… My arms hung over the fence and I gripped the other side as I barely managed to lift my leg over the fence… I sat there in pain, but in victory…I was able to make it, and nothing could take what I had accomplished and felt, away…”

 

This story clearly reminds me of a decision… A decision that in it self may require you to undergo part of what this young lad went through… He said “I sat there in pain, but in victory”… maybe this decision to pursue medicine will entail you to take part in undesirable pain, undesirable sacrifices, and undesirable suffering… But like this lad, as you sit there in pain, you sit in victory… This doesn’t just apply to medicine; it can apply to any circumstance that may arise in your life… If you push through the pain, you will surely reach victory. Pain is nothing more than a state of mind that hinders our determination and holds us back from reaching our ultimate purpose-Inevitable Medical Sleep (J.R.)

 

“They say life isn’t as it always seems… If that’s so, then let’s just hope you can reiterate your decision on why you decided to pursue a medical career, because if life isn’t as it always seems, if life can’t always secure your well being, if life can’t always remain the same, then who’s to say life will have your back when you decide to pursue your dreams…”- J.R.

 

When I was a young lad I remember wanting to desperately take a dip in the lake behind my house with a few friends… I dreamed of it day and night. But whenever I realized that I couldn’t go swimming, my eyes would become watery and my hands became fists as I readily pounded on my pillow; somehow I believed that if I were to hit my pillow fast enough, and desperately enough, this action alone could magically make me appear at the foot of the lake. Your probably wondering why I couldn’t just walk to the lake if it was right behind my house, and I’ll tell you it’s because there was an immense fence that was keeping me on one side, making me feel like a prisoner looking out towards freedom. As a kid you’ll do anything, you’ll even put yourself in harms way without even coming close realizing the dangers behind your actions. And that’s due to the fact that you feel like your all time favorite comic book super hero… yup you guessed it… Superman. My friends would come to my house on their way to the lake and out of courtesy, they would plea for me to sneak out and go to the lake with them; even though they knew that it just wasn’t possible… Why? You may ask… Why wasn’t it possible for me to climb that fence? That’s the question that will unravel the pivotal moment of my life.

As an even younger child (before age of 5) my Achilles tendon experienced what my doctors called “growth reduction” as if I had an unexplainable obstruction that halted the growth of my “oh so needed tendon”, of course in that day and time you couldn’t expect an accurate prognosis or diagnosis of anything that was serious enough to have you bed ridden, except for the possible pneumonia, rheumatic fever, and TB (Tuberculosis), mainly because it was the beginning of the 1950′s and just about six years after world war 2 ended (thank God); they believed that it would be (as it was) extremely difficult to walk for long periods of time, climb, walk up steps, participate in heavy physical activities, and run. I was “diagnosed” on September 18th 1951 at the age of 8, and I’ll never forget that day as it completely changed my pitiful life. My “disability” acted as an unbreakable barricade every time I would desperately envision myself trying to climb that fence.

Everytime I closed my eyes I could see, and smell the lake, but couldn’t even manage to dip my toes in it. I could see my friends playing in the water enjoying them selves without a care in the world, but me.. huh.. I had legs to worry about… While they could run, climb, and sprint… I could barely walk… Actually it was more like a sympathetic limp.

After a very lonely period of time, the fence became my enemy, and my sickness became its personal aid. They both made sure that I was stuck in misery without a way out… But soon enough there came a time that I became determined, there came a time when I knew that no matter what I could climb the fence, there came a time when my eyes didn’t become watery anymore, instead they were lit with a desire and determination that made my heart pound as if it was going to jump out of my chest… There came a time when all I could see was me climbing that fence, there came a time when I had decided that I wouldn’t let my sickness kill my goals and murder my aspiration’s, there came a time when I knew what I was capable of, even if my family and doctors all doubted me, and said that my so called objectives weren’t achievable…

*Continued*….. Part 2

 

 

 

 

“Sometimes… you have to ask yourself “Is it worth it?”. Is medicine worth all the studying, time, breath, “torture”, and the killing of your morality and standards…. Well, that question my friend, only you can answer for yourself…”- J.R.

We tend to kid ourselves, and deceive our conscious… We live in a world where everyone’s opinions weigh heavy on our actions, even if we don’t say they do… So why is it that IF we care about others thoughts, we automatically think were somewhat “insecure”? Hmm…maybe were living a lie, and were afraid others will discover and exploit our hidden secrets if we don’t “play” along with them… We tend to “chime” in and perfectly act the role out, so that no one ever discovers who we truly are, and what our ideals portray… So why is it that we have a desire to “fit in”? Why is it we want to be accepted, and be part of the crowd? Do we feel a sense of warmness that comes along with being accepted? Do we feel as though were less than “perfect” if we face rejection? Were all searching for these answers, and I might of found mines…

I believe the reason were so wound up on trying to be a part of something outside of our “norm”, a part of something so ambiguous; has to be because were afraid of being alone, were afraid of being rejected, and were afraid of living without a sense of security that ironically an insecure group of people within this insecure world “can” provide. Being true to yourself isn’t just about being truthful, and never deceiving yourself… It’s about being true to others as well… But of course, we find this hard to incorporate, because we tend to give up after we’ve faltered several times within this area. We ineluctably ask ourselves these questions: “What will others think?”, “Will I pay the price of loosing my friends?”, “Will I be cast aside and sentenced to an eternity alone?”…. I’m no saint, nor am I one to rightfully judge anyone. But I am one that can clearly see how our society stammers… Ask yourself, if you believe your friends, family and acquaintances would run away, if you were to tell them your hidden secrets… And if the answer’s yes, well nine times out of ten your going to have to bottle everything up, while you end up feeling resentment towards them, because you know it wouldn’t matter how hard you try or wish to make them understand, it may never happen. With this being said, analyze your life as I’ve analyzed mine… Then “dispose” of what’s holding you back from your true self… Its easier said than done, but easier done than kept imprisoned by your own conscious… Take it from someone who knows…

 

 

 

Ok, so I’m here writing and thinking about my past Journey towards a medical education in the Caribbean. Many of you can relate, as either your an IMG or are about to become one. I specifically remember my days on the Island, when I was alone and my surroundings were as silent as a television on mute. Before I graduated from a Caribbean medical school and received my M.D. I never thought I would become an physician. Needless to say that in undergrad my GPA slipped up so much (due to partying and irresponsibly) that I think when I applied to US medical schools they laughed at my application, and then used it as a napkin! My final cumulative GPA was a 2.78, however my MCAT score (a 39Q) I thought managed to at least make up for the hellish GPA, but that was only a fantasy of mine. When I applied to US medical schools, I should have applied to the Caribbean as well. It took me about a year after I was flat out rejected to realize that I had the option of obtaining my M.D. at the cost of attending Caribbean medical school. Even though the Caribbean was an inferno filled with surprises and undesirable commodities, I believe I received a good “hands on” education. I didn’t study at what they call now-a-days the “Top 4″ Carib schools, no I went to a sort of unrecognizable medical school outside of its native country. The school however, even though it’s been and still is constantly overlooked, I can vouch for its quality of education. It has 50 state approvals and the curriculum was designed by one of the most prestigious medical schools in the United States.

I’m not here to try to sell you the Caribbean, however I am here to try to convince you that the Caribbean, as hard as it may sound, as undesirable, as unwanted and uncomfortable as it may sound, is an option. Don’t sell yourself short, and don’t think that there’s nothing you can do with a Caribbean M.D., because this is one of the biggest Carib myths and misconception. You are what you make yourself out to be. If you make yourself sound and look like an inferior Carib M.D. then to residency programs and directors this is exactly how you’re going to be viewed. But if you make yourself sound and look confident and reassured in the fact that you know and believe you received a good education, then this is a possible opposed view as well.

My point is, I’m a IMG and I happen to be practicing at one of the largest and most prestigious hospitals in this country. If you want something bad enough, then trust me, where you come from will hardly matter (in reference to a medical education), as long as your focused and dedicated to your success as a physician. Good luck to you all, and especially those who are pondering on a Caribbean medical education.

Sincerely,
John Doe M.D.
St. Mary’s Hospital
Head/Director of Cardiology Department

**For the above physician’s protection, his identity, school, and hospital affiliations will remain unknown**

 

This is a story about an American student who decided to study medicine abroad on an Island. Thus he is now leading a specific region in the United States as head of the Cardiology department.

 

I know I know, the titles lame, but what do you expect? Lately I’ve been getting asked what I want to study or become, an unusual amount of times. And I always pause for a second, and then continue to inform them that its medicine. And people’s eyes light up as they envision me a doctor. I want to know, do I look like I could become a doctor? Do I obtain physician like characteristics? Because to be truthful I always assumed many wouldn’t be as receptive to my dreams as I envisioned them. But anyways, that’s why their “My Dreams” and not theirs..lol Though I recently came to the conclusion on why I pause; I believe that it has to do with me preparing myself for their reactions, as well as trying to predict how they’ll respond. Truth is I don’t care what people think, in reference to what I want to pursue in life, but on some level of curiosity I never seize to pause and wonder for a split second how they’ll respond to my goals. I mean after all they asked, I didn’t stand on a ped-a-stool and announce it to the whole world! You get me?

 

Anyways there are a lot of new things in my life. For one, I’ve decided to apply to medical school; but in the Caribbean. I’ll be going to study medicine in the country where the blood that runs through my veins comes from….Dominican Republic. There’s been a lot of skepticism in the past pertaining to going to study medicine in the Caribbeans, and most of its on point. But I think I can manage and live in a country that I’m from, even if since I’m coming from the US I’ll be considered Foreign to many. Several people will always stay faithful to the US and say that nothings better, and it is possible that they’re correct, however what if DR is better for me? Better yet, what if the Caribbeans better for you! You can never be sure of something like this, but you can be sure of your passion. And if that passion is strong enough, then you can succeed anywhere you go; whether it be the Caribbean or the US.

 

“We live in a world where our desires to accomplish or succeed aren’t enough. But we do live in world where becoming successful is possible.”-Unknown to you, but known to me…….

 

 

 

 

Ask yourself these questions: Do you think medicine is what it seems to be? Do you believe that we need to and should ethically operate at a higher level? Truth being, many of us wish that medicine could be as we imagined it. The politics, the greed, the power struggle have all wounded the medical community, and for some reason nobody’s doing anything about it. How come we can’t go back to the days when medicine was all BUT greedy, politics, abuse; and everything about treating the patients and giving them the best health care possible. Seems like the autonomy physicians have struggled to keep is becoming an in vain struggle to survive. I have nothing against physician assistants nor NP’s, but why are they continuing to succeed inevitably within the medical field? Why are they taking over procedures that were pioneered by physicians and should be performed by physicians? Why are Nurse Practitioners taking over much of the tasks doctors should perform (prescribing/treating)? Why are doctors not taking a stand and defending themselves? Why are many believing that the 2 years of training PA’s receive are equal to that of a physician in which receives over 8 years of medical hell? Why is it that ethics, morality, and integrity are sustained by only a few within medicine? These questions will remain realistically unanswered until the leaders within our medical communities decide to step up. The constant abuse and sleep deprivation will be something that I’ll have to liberally endure in order to save a few lives, to make dreams a reality, and to give hope to those in dire need of health care.

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