The sun shines into the room as it slowly begins to set over the small hill behind the hospital, dotted with cottages and church steeples. I squint in the dusky light as Komrad Konsultant Kardiologist, my latest boss, flips open my end-of-term assessment form and sits down at his table.
"So, Angry...let's see." He begins.
I brace myself. Here come the hard questions about why I wasn't at ward rounds, why his patients have no idea who I am, and that one time I fell asleep in a patient's bed...
But Komrad Konsultant stops flipping the file, and looks out the window. "I think you've done quite well, Angry. I think you'll go far, in fact."
I blink. Me, going far? ME? Has he got the wrong file? What has he been smoking?
Komrad Konsultant adjusts his glasses as the sun glints off them. "You see...all this work you do now may sometimes seem pointless. All the slogging, all the early mornings, all the nasty doctors ordering you around..." He closes the file.
"What you have to remember is that you're storing choice for the future." Now he looks at me directly. "The really successful people in life, Angry, they reach a level where they can choose where they want to go. Which hospital, which specialty, which job. They write their own tickets. Everybody else, they have to hope and pray. But if you're REALLY good...you get to choose."
He signs the assessment form, ticks the 'EXCELLENT' box and hands it to me. "I think you're one of those who'll get to choose."
I sit for a while, just staring at him, stunned. Then I walk out of his room in a bit of a daze.
I don't think I deserved such high praise. Not at all. I haven't been focusing my energies where I should be lately. And to some extent I've betrayed my dream of clinical medicine, after moaning and ranting about it for three years in Cambridge. And I've made a few big mistakes. But hopefully it's not too late to correct them.
And it's not just me Komrad Konsultant was talking about. We all deserve the power to choose. So here's to working harder. Here's to storing up choice for the future. Thanks, Dr B.