It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was a time of tribulations, a time of sorrow. It was a time that weathered our thinning heartstrings, leaving in the wake of untimely deaths and undue suffering, men that were some reason stronger. In every man there is a point of inflection in the tapestry of his life where the threads of youth intertwine to form the cords of manhood. Through baptism by sleep deprivation, hopeless situations, academic intensity and emotional intimidation we became something more than what we were a year ago.
116 overnight calls done.
Through repetition and remembering, our hands that once trembled while accessing the brain have found steadiness. Where once we hoped against hope with the families of loved ones for miracles, we now hold out our hands to catch their crumbling dreams. We do not cry, no, we never did; but now we no longer think of tears. As the number of patients we've touched, saved, and buried grow, our energies are diverted to our ability to save rather than our capacity to empathize. But we have known sorrow, though the chords that move us have changed. Death has become our companion, so we no longer fear him. But abandonment, seen in the brain tumor patient admitted for medical issues, silently choking on his own saliva in the corners of the medical ward; or the wife that leaves unable to handle the despair that comes with a diagnosis of a terminal illness... the consolidation of loneliness in an already lonely profession, in an already lonely world, chills us.
We recognize there is still much to be learned, and still many sleepless nights to be had. But in this year of hazing we hope that we were broken down beyond the imperfections of our upbringing and built into something better. Only time will tell.
And now, we play.