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The day I decided surgery was for me…complete healing.

Authors: Sofia Rozani; Medical Student; Faculty of Medicine, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece; @SophiaRozani

I don’t know if my story is inspiring. Perhaps I’m starting the narrative with something quite commonplace. I have wanted to be a doctor ever since I was a little girl. I was never a good student, one encouraged to pursue medicine because of her academic performance. Medicine requires long study hours and dedication, so I decided to become more studious. I will never forget the day I decided surgery was for me.

In my surgical elective in Germany, as I was filling out patient discharge paperwork, my eyes fell on the reason for a patient’s discharge. “Discharge due to complete healing.” A few months before that had been my elective in Internal Medicine where I remembered that in the discharge document the main reason was mostly the phrase “Improvement”. That moment was pivotal for me. This is what I want to do in my life as a doctor. A practical and combative specialty that offers immediate healing and not just improvement to the patients.

For the rest of the months, that thought swirled in my mind. At midnight, at an on-call surgical clinic where I often volunteered to help on weekends, I received an emergency call: car accident, four occupants, mother with three children. Their crying, my composure to be efficient, and the smell of blood are what I recall when I tell this story. And at that moment the word healing came into my mind. That is what I wish to offer from now on.

I still don’t know if my story will inspire or move my colleagues. Maybe it sounds quite romantic. I completely understand colleagues who choose a specialty based on pragmatic criteria as I myself am motivated in my life mainly by logic. However, I think it is that to be able to survive in a highly competitive specialty, you need sometimes to appeal to emotion.


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