welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

i remember when

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this weekend as i was working with around 20 premed students who volunteered at the community garden where i have my garden plot i thought they are me about 40 years ago

as i looked at those 20 who wanted to be doctors i realized statistically that only about 8 of them would make it to medical school
the other 12  although for various reasons even though they would be quite qualified wont make it

which ones i thought would make as i looked and interacted with them
i could identify a few that would make it
one was the female that i want ms b to be like
another was a student who although he wants to be in emergency medicine seemed more like the family practice type
he even like i did while in college works in an emergency room here locally as an assistant

now i dont know all their stories but i know mine
i almost didnt make it
even though my goal from middle school was to be a family doctor

in high school from my sophomore year on i worked as an orderly on weekends and during holidays doing patient care and assisting and observing a lot that many students dont get to see
i saw births and deaths and surgeries and happiness and sadness

i started college with an academic scholarship that paid for my books and tuition and fees
fees are those things if youve ever paid for someones college education that add up and sneak up on you as they fee you for everything
all i had to pay for was my room and board
so i tried to work all weekend from friday to sunday and go to school
i wasnt ready academically and socially and psychological for college
so i didnt make it through the semester
so i dropped out

then for two years i worked various jobs as an orderly as a bag inspector at a paper bag company as a worker on a road bridge crew
i was not really being a productive human being
my historian brother convinced me to move in with him where he was stationed in california
a friend of  his helped me get a job as an orderly at the local hospital
i later became an emergency room technician assisting doctors and nurses in the emergency room
again i got to do and see a lot of medical things

my historian brother convinced me to take some courses a the local junior college
i chose english and intermediate algebra as my first two courses
i also worked full time
i managed to get an a in each class
after that i took more classes and finished the junior college with a good gpa

i then transferred to the university of california system the same one these kids are in
majoring in biology with at no time doubting what my ultimate goal was
granted in the past that goal seemed way out of reach

my wife she and i got married the weekend before we transferred to the 4 year school
my grades werent good my first quarter there
i think i made my first and only d and c while i was in college
i after that semester thought my goal would not be obtained

the competition back then was even greater for med school slots
out of those 20 if they were applying back then only 2-4 would probably get accepted

luckily the rest of my career went well and i made a good gpa by the time i graduated
a gpa that was in the mid range of those accepted to medical school

i opted to sit out a year after graduation to reestablish my residency in my home state
i then applied for medical school after living there for a year
this required me to wait two years after college graduation before starting medical school
i got accepted on my first try
some folks take several attempts or some go out of the country
i only applied to one school
during those two years waiting i worked a year as a lab tech and spent a year working first for 7 hours in a chicken processing plant where i swore they played music from the movie deliverance then 3 months in a factory making craftsman tools then 9 months working as a lab assistant in the animal science department while my wife she was in graduate school

then after all that i made it to medical school
unlike many of these students who have a lot of college debt and will have a lot of medical school debt
i mange to avoid that since the federal programs and california had more scholarship and grants available for students to pay for school
now these are mostly not available and schools seem to just cost more

i had some loans but not like many others had
uncle sam paid for my last 3 years of medical school and i served back those 3 years in an undeserved area to fulfill that obligation even though reagan cut that funding for the program after i graduated

so i reflected back as i worked and visited with those students
im sure many of them are withstanding large debts just to get through college
if they attend medical school somewhere their debt will probably double or triple

i finished with a school debt from college and medical school of around $15,000
now students can have between $100,000 to $400,000 of school debt

this debt will hamper them throughout their medical careers affecting their ability to buy a home and save for retirement and probably finance their kids education
add to that the fact that medicine is changing and doctors incomes are dropping each year

i was talking to my historian brother this weekend and he said
you know we are both lucky as we and our other 6 siblings to have been born when we did as most of us managed to get through college and professional school without having debt that followed us into retirement

yes its the same story getting into school but how it gets paid for has changed
not for the best
not for the students
not for our society

maybe some of them will read this blog today and not give up on their dreams

i remember when
i realize im one lucky guy to have reached my goals

the organicgreen doctor

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