Be true to and believe in yourself

I just finished interviewing for fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. I knew for a long time that it was the part of patient care that I loved. However, I also knew that I loved bedside clinical teaching. There is something special about being able to take a complex concept and structure it in such a way that it become understandable and applicable to the learner.

When I started this fellowship journey, I envisioned myself in a community practice. Not that I had forgotten about my love for bedside teaching, but thinking that I wasn’t good enough to be at an academic center. Also, not that community practitioners are less that academic practitioners, just that I always thought that academic centers wanted researchers and I am not a researcher and don’t have that pedigree. I figured that the teaching aspect of practice for me would go one the back burner for now and I’d sort it out later.

Fast forward to my most recent fellowship interview at a location that offers a two year program, the first year being the standard HPM clinical training with a second year where you earn a masters in medical education balanced with clinical practice. Again, didn’t think I would be competitive for this program, so only applied for the one year program in ERAS. However, when I was at my interview today, I was directly asked if I was interested in applying for the two year program. I was taken aback and ecstatic to be considered. I enthusiastically said yes!

Moreover, I had to give myself for my desires to evolve. When I initially made the decision to pursue fellowship, I truly saw myself in a community setting because that’s the setting I have been practicing in for the past 5 years. However, as I have interviewed at academic centers, my desire to be back in the teaching setting has risen back to the top. Even if I go into a community setting for the first several years, this training will give me options and open doors that I wouldn’t otherwise have.

I say all of this because we a non-trads have a long habit of self-deprecation and not believing that we can reach for the stars. Also, we need to allow ourselves to allow our desires to evolve as we progress through our journey.

Sorry for all of the babbling, just wanted to share my reflections.


That’s awesome! Congrats on being recognized for your talents. I really appreciate you posting this, as I’m currently in the process of applying to the match and am waiting to hear back from programs, and sometimes it can seem a little discouraging. This reminds me that it’s not over til it’s over and to keep reaching for what I want.