My return to the clinic has been separated into phases. The first phase of my return has involved my shadowing[1] different clinicians in the clinic. While all the clinicians that work there are extremely intelligent and have a fantastic rapport with patients, they each have their own particular strengths. As a resident physician, we are each assigned a mentor. These advisors meet with us about our test results, patient satisfaction ratings, and senior projects. When I was in recovery in the hospital, my advisor was in the process of changing positions at Michigan State University, thus I had to choose a new advisor. During my time in residency I had developed a close relationship with Dr. Kenneth Thompson, making him an easy choice as a new advisor. More importantly, even though he came across as gruff, I knew inside he had a big heart. I have been lucky enough to be able to shadow him during my return to clinic. Besides imparting his vast medical knowledge on me, he also often gives me his philosophical insight regarding my condition. On many occasions he has said, “Chris, if you step back and look at the situation, you have to appreciate the journey you’re going through.” I had never thought of it as a journey before. I began to reflect on what defines a journey.

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines journey as “something suggesting travel or passage from one place to another.”[2] By this definition, I have definitely been on quite a journey, at least figuratively. But we all go through our own journeys. Who is to say my journey is somehow more arduous than another’s. Life is a journey: someone who wakes up every day at 7:00 am to go to work then comes home to his/her children, eats dinner, watches the news, then goes to sleep is going through a journey, albeit different than mine. A journey results in you being in a different place than you started. Just as I am being put through a journey via my health, this hypothetical person also is going through a journey ending up somewhere other than where he/she started.


Our journeys make us who we are. Thinking our ending position is all that matters would be short-sighted, our paths to this position cannot be forgotten, and are as vital to us and our makeup as the end result. There is an old adage, “trust the process.”[3] It’s important where you end up, but what’s more important are the experiences that get you there.

[1] Essentially following and observing



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