My Journey to Med School

My journey to med school wasn’t ordinary.
I left my comfy home in Michigan,
moved to Boston, and fell in love
with geophysics. A master’s degree
brought me to the mountains of Wyoming
where I spent time hiking, fishing,
and existing with Mother Nature
in a way I’d never known before.
The cold earth sings each morning
if you’re listening.

I found a job further north
in Anchorage, where it takes a full day
to get back to the lower 48.
My husband and I lived there for eight years.
We loved winters –
snow was a wonderful thing that let you play.
We had twins in 2015, and
what’s striking about having babies
is that it took away my fear.
If someone had told me then
that I would have to learn to fly,
I would do it.
I see myself now as a very powerful human.
There’s no person who gives birth in any way
who isn’t powerful after this.

Each place I’ve experienced
has shaped me immeasurably –
I don’t regret anything.
I call it: letting the wave have me.

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

She was the fourth generation of her family who would graduate from Wayne State School of Medicine: her dad, her grandfather, and her great-grandfather had all studied there before her. “I’m the first woman in my family to go to med school, which is pretty cool,” she said. “I’m putting my feet in those big shoes.”

“At first I wasn’t sure if I should even apply,” she said. “I hadn’t majored in microbiology, I had hated pre-med but loved geology, and I’m 10-15 years older than everyone, so I would be 42 by the time I was done with school and residency. But then a friend of mine said, ‘Well you’ll be 42 anyway, so you might as well do the things you want to do.’ And I knew I wanted to do something with a focus on the human body and making people’s lives better.” When she made the decision to pursue this path toward becoming a doctor, her friends told her it was the happiest they’d ever seen her

Interviewee: Anonymous, Medical Student
Listener Poet: Ravenna Raven

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