Sunday, May 8, 2011


It's been a fucked up few weeks. I've added a new med that increases my focus and ability to retain information, but it makes me a bit jittery and shoots my heart rate up by 15-20 bpm. This medication has something to do with a major change in my life. I'm a Physician Assistant, graduated from a fairly prestigious PA school in NYC (who would have thought!), but have never practice as a PA. If you follow this blog at all you can probably piece together why that is so. After having graduated a decade ago I have been given the chance to return to my program and audit some of the classes that will allow me to pass my board exam. The prospect of going back to school and practice the type of medicine that I love fills me with excitement and absolute terror. Some of the fear comes rushing back. Am I smart enough? Am I good enough? Will I be able to complete this broken circle? It looks like I'm going to find out.

There are few things that I'm sure of, but one of those things is that I was put on this earth to practice emergency medicine in an "underserved" urban environment. Underserved is a polite way of saying a tough inner city neighborhood, a remote town, or American Indian reservation that has been denied the care and comfort that most of us accept as a right and not a privilege. For me that environment is Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx. I spent four months training there as a student and it is a remarkable place. Nowhere else have I seen such extremes of tragedy and hope. The gunshot wounds, stabbings, auto accidents, and overdoses seemed endless, but the satisfaction that I felt every time I walked out the door was beyond description. By being able to help a population that not many people seem to give a fuck about is a privilege and I will never be able to give back as much as I've gotten from treating those patients. The punk rock streak that is now part of my genetic makeup insists that I pay back what I have been given. I squandered the middle class lifestyle that I grew up in, ended up running myself into the gutter, and was given the chance to crawl back. It's time to repay that debt. The plan is that in about a year I will have stuffed enough knowledge into my cabeza to pass the exam and begin my mission. One definition of the word grace is that it is an undeserved gift. It is.

Now we'll go from the extremely heavy to the absolute retarded. One out of five new relationships start online. Sure they do., eHarmony, what absolute crap. On a whim I signed up for 6 months of this ridiculousness. Having asked out almost every woman between the ages of 20 and 40 at the hospital I work at, I figured I'd better try a new approach. Considering that my after work activities involve either running in the woods alone or spending my Saturdays with the sweaty and ill mannered male members of Starkweather, I figured my only hope was to go fishing online. Apparently it is not. The way it works is that after you fill out your profile, they email you every day with some prospects that theoretically match some of your interests. You click on their profiles, look at the pictures first (no matter how shallow anyone thinks it is, EVERYONE looks at the pictures first), then, if the person isn't hideous, you read through the profile to see if she's written anything of interest. I swear to fucking christ that 9 out of 10 of these profiles mention that they like a "nice" glass of red wine (what the fuck is that?), walks on the beach at sunset, and bubble baths with candles. I am not fucking kidding. Every one of them believes that they're "laid back" (Again, what the fuck does that even mean? Does it mean that when I spend the rent money on a Bulldog puppy you won't get mad?). They're looking for a guy that's funny and can make them laugh. Ridiculous. Is there anyone that's looking for someone that's not funny and makes them cry? I can handle both the former and the latter. Now onto my part in this sociological disaster. Apparently describing oneself as a cynical and somewhat self destructive guy with a poor credit rating and a Subaru Impreza isn't the way to go. Good thing I didn't list salesman as one of my better attributes. It also doesn't help that in my pictures, most of which have been taken by me, I either look like a serial killer or like I'm dizzy and about to pass out. Impressive. So I'll stand by my claim that online dating is just a slightly cleaned up digital version of walking through the Red Light district in Amsterdam and picking out a hooker in a window. It's shallow, artificial, and somewhat soul deadening. And yes, I have walked through the Red Light district. And no, I did not bang a hooker. Nor, for the record, did I partake in any of the other activities that Amsterdam is famous for. As a side note, we are honestly the most boring band in the history of rock and roll. Guns & Roses would be ashamed.

I guess that's enough for now. I'd planned on going for another run at Bear Mountain in New York on the way home from my parents but remembered that this is the weekend of the North Face Endurance Challenge trail race. Fuckers. I wish I were running it instead of driving past it. Next year.

1 comment:

  1. Best of luck with the school thing. I totally feel you on the second shot at life. Grab it and don't let it go.