#HAWMC Day 16.
What’s one thing that your 10-year-old self thought you would do? Can you still do it? How would you approach it to make it happen?
At 10, I wanted to be a doctor. I’ve wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember! And I wanted to have it all – a career, loving husband, kids and the Nobel Prize … cue in a witch’s cackle.
Life was simple at 10 years old. I didn’t know how much personal sacrifice (sleepless nights and tears) would be needed to finish medical school, residency and fellowship. When people ask me if I want my sons to become doctors, I always say that they can be whatever I want. I also say that I want to spare them from the hardships of medical school. My oldest wants to be a businessman or a Lego engineer. My youngest a bug scientist. At 11 and 8, they’ve got it all figured out. The older one will earn the money to fund the research of the younger – and together they will save the world!
What’s my life goal? I think everyone is trying to find a niche. Life’s twists and turns have led me to mine – eHealth!
Upon graduation from medical school, I decided to stay in the Philippines. As a first year medical resident, I was told I should choose my specialty as soon as possible. I decided on endocrinology. Even as a resident in internal medicine, I worked towards that. My case discussion, grand rounds and research work centered on endocrinology. I attended endocrine meetings. At my application interview for the endocrinology fellowship in 2000, I was asked, How do you see yourself ten years from now? My answer was married, with two kids, an endocrinologist in the academe. Check, check, check. 🙂
After endocrinology fellowship, I was offered a teaching position which I gladly accepted. I soon realized that promotion in the academe required further studies. I took MS Health Informatics as I was starting my clinics and my family. I finished my thesis (finally!) after six years in 2011. I was the first graduate of the program and it changed my life’s course. I now advocate for the advancement of eHealth!
Nowadays if you ask me my life goal, it would be to find work-life balance. I’m writing this post at 5 am – as usual. It’s a quiet time in our house with everyone asleep. It’s my me time.
Work-life balance betrays my age. Now they talk about work-life integration. On some days, I just want to balance my schedule – canceled clinics or academic/advocacy meetings, sleep or Game of Thrones, Pinterest or #HAWMC. I am happy to enjoy every weekend with my family – a protected time.
Note to my nerdy ten-year old self –
Yes, you’ve become a doctor like you’ve always wanted. You’ve also gotten a life!