Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Dr. Courtney? The Decision.

So why do I call myself Dr. Courtney? Why & when did I decide to become a doctor? Well it all started about 9 months ago when I began my new, & current, job at a big financial company. The department within the company that I was to be working for was new, so they hired 10 of us to get it up & running. This woman, who I call My Favorite Patient, instantly became the mother of our group. Firstly, because the average age of our group was around 24(I'm 22), & she was atleast 40 years older. Secondly, because she always had a wealth of knowledge, experience, & guidance to give us all whenever any small or large, negative or positive, thing occured in our lives. Thirdly, her voice was motherly, loving, & LOUD..so not listening to her wasn't even an option. She always told us the truth, & never quite what we wanted to hear.

My & My Favorite Patient's cubicles were right next to each other. We talked about anything & everything. I seemed to always bring up topics related to medicine, healthcare, etc, and one day she just flat out asked me:

MFP: Why are you not a doctor?

Me: Uhhhhh...I don't know haha. I started going to school for that but then life happened & I just decided to do something different.

MFP: Well, you know that it's your calling right?

Me: Is it? I'm not so sure. I don't thi-....

MFP: PUUUHLEASE! The way you go off on tangents talking about the physiology & blurting out all these medical terms that us regular people can't even pronounce hahaha! No. It's your calling. I can tell.

Me: (Thinking she's got a point on one hand, but on the other thinking she's just blowing smoke. I couldn't really be destined to become a doctor???) Haha! I don't know. I guess we'll see..

MFP: Yes we will, I'm going to stay on top of you until you follow your true path.

Me: Ooooooook.....

The next day when I came into the office she greeted me with:

MFP: Well GOOD MORNING DOCTOR COURTNEY! (With utter seriousness)

Me: (Thinking she's really taking this doctor-thing too seriously) Hahaha! Good morning My Favorite Patient!

MFP: How was your night at the hospital?

Me: (Alright I'll play along) It was quite eventful actually. I completed rounds & was on call most of the night but didn't get much rest due to an apendectemy, laporoscopic removal of a metatasized kidney, ruptured spleen, and then a coding during a routine Whipple procedure due to malignant hyperthermia. The patient survived however.

MFP: My, my, my, that was a busy night. Atleast you were there to save the day Dr. Courtney!

Me: Yeah, the patient sent me home-baked cookies as a thank you! Haha!

This routine followed day after day for months. It actually became kind of fun because I would start looking up different cases and surgery scenarios at night to replay to MFP the next day. Five months after we were hired, I earned a coveted promotion, making more money than I ever thought was possible for a 22 year-old & was well on my way to establishing a lucrative career in our company. I was dead set on the fact that med school & becoming a doctor just wasn't in the cards for me, but it was fun just to have these faux post-procedure conversations!

Then one day (2 months ago) I was online at work & as usual browsing medical blogs/websites & came across the topic of "Precordial Thump." You know, on 'Grey's Anatomy' when a patient is coding & one of the doctors makes a fist & hits the patient's chest to bring them back to life? Well I was reading all the facts about it & the info was SO fascinating that I began to look it up on youtube to learn how to do it, if the need ever arose (I had just learned how to do an emergency trecheotomy the week prior so I was on a roll). After I learned and practiced the procedure, much to the dismay of my poor ginnie-pig notebook, I went over to MFP's cubicle & went on an excited-fast-talking tangent!

Me: Ohhhhh emmm gee! Guess what I just learned!? Have you ever seen a doctor punch a patient's chest to resuscitate them? Well it's called a precordial thump! The intent is to interrupt a potentially life-threatening rhythm such as pulseless ventricular tachycardia & cause the heart to revert into it's normal rhythm. You bascially strike a single, very carefully aimed blow with the fist to a specific place on the patient's sternum in the absence of a defibrillator, you know the machine that charges, then pushes electrical volts through your body to jumpstart the heart??? Well, the thump actually causes the cells of the precordium, surrounding the heart, to produce an electrical depolarization of 2 to 5 joules..which essentially electrically shocks the heart! Isn't that freakin' cool!?!?!?!!

MFP: (Doesn't say a word. Smiles, tilting her head slightly to the right, with eyes of wisdom saying everything that I already knew inside, but chose to ignore.)

Have you ever had a moment of complete stillness & clarity? When the intentions of your heart & mind were perfectly aligned & every thought was clear, made sense, & you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you were: exactly where you were suppose to be, exactly when you were suppose to be, & exactly what you were suppose to do next was suddenly, piercingly crystal clear? I had that moment right then. That is when I decided to become a doctor. We all have free will, but that doesn't mean God doesn't attempt to put people in our lives to do a little course-correcting. 'Adjustment Bureau' anyone? ;)

MFP has actually been in the hospital for the past two weeks recovering from surgery. I visit her 4 times a week to check in on her & make sure she's being well cared for. I've only had to go off on one of her caregivers thus far (which brings me to a topic that really pisses me off but that is for another day's post). All of her nurses actually think that I am a doctor due to the fact that everytime I round the corner into her room she exclaims(in her loving & LOUD voice):


Me: Just checking up on my favorite patient..


  1. Great story! There is someone in my med. class that was an I-banker before med. school. We all have to write these nonsense sentences about ourselves that get read at our white coat ceremony and his was, "I sold my soul to corporate America, but now I want it back." Lol. Anyway, make some money before you jump into med. school...the latter is EXPENSIVE!

  2. Thanks Red!! I LOVE your blog by the way! I spent my saturday reading all of your posts since 2009..it was alot of fun! :)

    That guy sounds alot like me: Taking money from people who didn't have it & using it to buy myself flashy expensive things...but alas..I will redeem my soul! lol. But yes that is the plan, to tuck away some funds before I enter medical school, I have about 3 years before I can even start applying so that should give me enough time to stack up a nice nest egg.

  3. Aww, you're too sweet! Thank you for the kind words about my blog. I'm really excited for you. As a fellow working adult turned med. student, I know you want it more than other people, and there's something kind of awesome about that!

  4. Wow. Okay I usually just leave bad jokes in comments, but this one really spoke to me. I've been thinking and blogging a lot about passion these past few days, and it's such a coincidence that I found this post now. Normally when people ask me these days if they should become doctors, my answer is a flat-out no. Unless they really want to.

    You're really lucky to have that passion. If you've got the time, check out my last two posts. They may help. I daresay you'll have a completely different answer to the questions I asked than I did though.

    I'll be back. Keep blogging!

  5. Thanks Angry Medic! I really appreciate your comment and loved your last two blog posts! I left a comment over there with more of my thoughts on this subject of passion :).