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Brave Beginnings

Who, what, and why

As a stressed out second year medical student, I took an elective that kept me sane. Half creative writing, and half impromptu therapy, the sessions took place one evening per week. I gathered with a group of ten to drink wine and eat snacks from Trader Joe’s, swapping stories and confirming that each of us was dogged by the same sense of “never enough.”

After catching up, we wrote in silence for half an hour or a little longer on the topic of the week and the readings we had prepared. Then, each person read their work aloud, unedited and unadorned. Our professor had one rule: you could not make a disclaimer about your work. No “it might sound silly, but…” or “I wish I knew how to say this better…” – we simply read our work and talked it through. We learned about each other’s lives, families, pain, and hopes

As a senior and now chief resident, I found myself so focused on residency that I was losing myself, again. I wanted to write and to grow whole, and to find life and relationships (maybe even love!) beyond medicine. I found an initial outlet on Twitter, where I connected with amazing and inspiring people: some at various stages in medical training and careers, others trying to navigate 21st century dating. Both groups resonated with my current stage of life.

Seven years ago, the freedom from disclaimers gave me the ability to write my best and most courageous work. So, without further preface, I give you my journey – life as Single With Scalpel.

About the Author

Single With Scalpel is a Pediatric Otolaryngology fellow who tweets about life, humor, and medical education. She blogs here when 140 characters simply aren’t enough.

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