Friday, August 10, 2007

Chris Thomas' Little Frog, Big Frog.

It occurred to me the other day, that my life consisted of repeatedly going from big frog to little frog. I guess it is best to start with my childhood and I would have to state that my father was the big frog without any signifcant competition. I would sit there on my little lily pad and wonder if there was any way for me to become a big frog. I kept getting instructions on how to hop, when to hop, and how high to hop. Finally, somewhere in my senior year in high school, I felt as though I might be becoming a big frog. I had made superior grades in my classes and I had lettered in tennis. I felt rather ready to meet the challenge of college.

I arrived at my college in a place where I knew not a single soul in town and I was immediately a little frog again. The pond was a very strange situation and what was required of me was distinctly different than my past pond upbringing and schooling. Well, here I was, on my little lily pond and studying premedical courses. In my junior year, I was accepted to medical school. By golly, I felt like a big frog again.

I arrived at medical school to find out, after a short period of time, that I was again a little frog, if not a tadpole. My God! The bull frogs reminded me, in a deep-throated harrumph, of my status, and the risk of being expelled from the pond. Only much later did I recognize that they were trying to educate me to the perils of the other inhabitants of the pond. At long last, I became a bigger frog with a white coat, rather proud of my position on my own little lily pad.

Then came the internship and residency. I am trying to avoid discussing internship because I was a perpetual little frog to the bitter end. Fortunately, I was accepted to a good surgical residency program and that, at least, made me feel like a frog that might be able to find a more favorable pond. The residency program was not so much a status phenomenon as it was how fast I could hop and how long I could do it. There were a couple of boss frogs that I admired very much. I wrote several papers for the literature with them as co-authors. I felt like a big frog at the end.

From there, I went into the Army for a tour of duty and was promoted from frog to frog captain. I had gained experience for which I was grateful and was ready to venture out.
Then, I entered private practice. Guess what? LIttle frog again. I was told that they did not need my frog specialty in the pond and the usually didn't admit frogs like me to certain frog hospitals. I played the game of lily pad hopping with certain reprimands from officer frogs, brought in new lessons from my frog residency and after a long period felt like a big frog, but a tired frog.

All too quickly, it seems, came the point that I retired from the bigger lily pad I had come to inherit and then, became a little frog again.
......Christopher Y Thomas, Jr, MD

1 comment:

wendy said...

For what it is worth, Christopher Y. Thomas, Jr. M.D., you have always been and still remain a very Big Frog from my perspective.

from: no-longer-a-tadpole-in-Montana