Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Testing Philadelphia

I'm thinking back tonight over the past three years. When I crossed the state line from New Hampshire into Maine, after two thousand miles in the cab of a twenty-four foot moving truck, I knew I was beginning the adventure of a lifetime. What I didn't know was, I would be sharing the adventure with some of the most wonderful people I'll ever meet (photo).

I'm mentioning this tonight because many of them are in Philadelphia, taking the second half of the osteopathic medical licensing examination. They've com
pleted their third year and now it's time, once again, to demonstrate what they've learned. Third year isn't easy. For one thing, it presents the first real-life patient contact many will have had. For another, it means being away from the larger community we created during our first two years together.

Joni Mitchell sings, "Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone." It's ironic that we often don't realize how close we truly are until we're far away. Facebook helps -- quite a bit, actually -- but the faces, the laug
hter, the hugs in greeting and parting, nothing takes their place.

These are the people who took me in and called me friend. Someone from a different generation who heard the same voice they did, calling us to this place near the sea. I'm incredibly proud of them, their accomplishments and endurance, their spirit and devotion to patients and one another. I'm proud of my friends.

(Photo of the UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine's Class of 2010 courtesy of The University of New England, copyright 2006)

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