When I moved out west to become a surgeon I gave myself 1 year. If I didn't book any gigs relating to the field of medicine in at least a year I would just go back to New York and start that theatre troupe like my parents wanted. But, I was determined not to let that happen. I remember telling myself that this was the road less traveled and that while everyone else was robotically going into the cushy world of artful nude photography, I was actually following my dreams.
At first I thought things were going great because I quickly booked a gig as a receptionist at a VD clinic. I didn't have any credentials but they were desperate for people and I managed to get a job. I was so excited to have a job similar to where I wanted to be! So many great heart surgeons started out this exact same way, Dr. Shapiro, Dr. Merdici, and soon enough me. One day I was going to be handing out prescriptions to children I had just operated on instead of multi-colored condoms to middle-aged men with Hepatitis.
But then things slowly started to get worse and worse. I tried taking classes at night to help improve my surgery skills but they were all just scams. You'd think you were going to a seminar at the Holiday Inn on scalpel techniques but really you would end up in a Wendy's parking lot where people with clown fetishes go to have sex in a van. Needless to say, my scalpel technique suffered and I had a lot of sex with people in clown make-up.
By my fifth month I had not even interviewed for any position at a real hospital. Not a single hospital would even give me any kind of callback. I tried meeting a few doctors because you know what they say about the medical business, "it's who you know." But unfortunately, I didn't know a single doctor in town. The only real connections I had in town were just actors and directors and movie producers, but since when has knowing these kinds of people helped out anyone! And it's not like I could ask my family doctor for a recommendation, he has had his fingers in my rectum too many times for our relationship to retain any kind of professionalism. I was simply out of luck.
But I did manage to get one interview about 4 months ago. I was so excited to finally get a chance to show one of these hot-shot medical directors what I was made of! But, my excitement quickly disappeared when I saw how many people they had interviewing for a position that day. There must have been 10-12 people in that waiting room. And what made it even worse was that everyone had some kind of folder with them with something called a "resume" in it. I had never heard of a "resume" in my whole life. This was the kind of stuff they don't teach you in medical school.
I did not get that job. And then, to make matters worse, I got fired from the V.D. clinic since it was being converted into a combination KFC/Taco Bell and I refused to wear a nametag to work. I was not about to be demoted from respectable VD clinic secretary to a lowly fast-food manager. So, naturally, this was a huge blow to my career but I knew that I would make it through. It really felt so cliché living the "starving medical school grad" role where the only way I could make money was by selling my impressionist sculptures to museums. And while it certainly wasn't glamorous work, it helped pay the bills.
But today I have hit rock bottom. Today I have learned that another hospital has rejected me. This is the 35th hospital that I have attempted to get into. I am beginning to think that my true calling was not to be a heart surgeon. Perhaps, I should have just gone with being a juggler/whale photographer like my dad or a professional asphalt artist like my mom. Maybe I should have just taken the safe route.
But I can never give up my dream of becoming a heart surgeon. Even if one day I end up writing a series of historical fiction novels about the life of Napoleon Bonaparte, I can at least die happy knowing I tried to make those who were so close to death be able to live again. But, until that day I suppose it will just be all caricatures and slam poetry. Man, I never knew becoming a doctor would be this hard.