It hit me this morning when I woke up that 8 years ago today, I was preparing to graduate medical school. I browsed through images on my social media from 8 years ago (tomorrow) – my graduation from medical school at LECOM Bradenton. One of the pictures that I saw captured the essence of how I felt after receiving my diploma and being called Dr. Samuel Urick III. I remember trying not to stumble on stage and to make my way to Wayne Krueger, PhD who was our preclinical dean to be hooded (may he rest in peace). I had no clue what the new title doctor was going to mean over these past 8 years.
As Mr. Urick (no one really called me that, but for sake of this post), I was 27 years old, ready since age 4 to be called doctor. I was going to train in a hospital that I loved and did not really see past that. I was socializing with other med students, nurses, and friends on the weekends and even weekdays those last few months as Mr. Urick. I was responsible for me and me alone. I knew I wanted to marry, have children, but I still had my eyes on the prize. If someone would go back in time to June 7, 2008 and tell me how my life would change B.D (before doctorate) to P.D. (post-doctorate) I probably would not have believed one word they said. If I had been told that I would be graded based on surveys, spending countless hours after work on the computer to complete medical records and review testing, would be working full time and studying for board certification, that healthcare would be in this shape, or that I would have the most beautiful baby girl in the world and her beautiful mommy my wife, I don’t think I could picture it.
For some reason, even after being exposed to doctors offices and hospitals during my 3rd and 4th year of medical school, I still had re-runs of Scrubs, ER, or Greys Anatomy in my head, even House M.D. I was living in the moment B.D. P.D. would bring challenges that would make me live moment to moment at times, one day at a time. 27 was a lot of fun, I have to admit it – great experiences, great friends, and a bright future on the horizon.
The sunset on Siesta Key Beach the day before my graduation – yes, I feel like that image summed up my B.D. time.
8 years later -P.D. I am sitting in my office at 6pm, completing office notes, reviewing tests and making sure I didn’t leave any stone unturned. My head is spinning. My back is aching (when did I start to get aches?).
8 years later time is going faster and faster, months go by faster….. maybe its all relativity but 8 years ago B.D. I didn’t think about life insurance, my own mortality, my mortgage, marriage, money. No one told me that as I aged my family and friends would as well. I thought my Grandma would be here until I was 50, because 50 seemed a long way off 8 years ago. I didn’t realize B.D. that I would have a wife and a baby girl that melts me more and more each day. She is now almost 2 years old now, I am almost 36. Stop. When did this happen? I’m confused – Mr. Urick the 27 year old on June 7, 2008 is not the same Dr. Urick on June 7, 2008, now 8 years as a physician. How did this happen?! Did I miss something?! When did I forget to live in the moment ? P.D. is when.
At age 27, Mr. Urick, Sam, Sammy to my friends and family, seemed to relish in the good moments, and all of a sudden he gets a long white coat and a longer list of responsibilities. Residency was a great time and “Dr. Urick” was shaped by his co-residents, patients and families that touched me, physicians that trained me, nurses that were patient with me and supportive of me. I didn’t know on June 7, 2008 what type of doctor I would become and that people would actually be driving to an office to see me, Sam, Sammy, for their medical care.
So back to that person from the future, yes I wouldn’t have believed anything they would tell me about the future and the course of my life over the ensuing 8 years. I don’t think I would have wanted to hop into a Delorean to see October 2015 – would I have a hoverboard, would cars fly (damn you Doc Brown and Marty), would I be making money, would I be stressed, married, have gray stubble?
I’m glad there was no time machine because instead of a flying car, I would have seen my father have a heart catheterization and triple bypass surgery in October 2015. I would have to take my Grandma to the hospital and tell her on my 35th birthday that she had colon cancer, that my wife’s Mimi, who became my Mimi would end up in St. Clair Hospital at the same time as my dad and Grandma – all in October 2015.
Time is still moving faster, and I learned in October 2015 what it means to live day by day. P.D. – over the past 8 years – I have learned that medicine is not 100% what I had anticipated, but nevertheless has shaped me and helped me to develop as a person, both mentally and spiritually. I l have learned that I would continue to learn as a physician, as a son, as a husband, as a father. (Sometimes I even don’t shave just to see the gray stubble on my face to remind me that I’m not 27)
If I could go back to June 7, 2008…… I would still want June 8th to come. Wouldn’t change a thing. Not for me to decide.
I am glad I can look back at time B.D. and have great memories, but its time to live in the moment and appreciate each day as it comes because you never know how long you have and what lies ahead. No need to worry, just prepare the best you can.
June 8th…. I’ll think about that tomorrow. For now I’m going to live in June 7, 2016.
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