Adding Inches

If you know anyone in medical school, you know what it means to have a short coat. Students have short coats. "Real" doctors have long coats. We have this fun ceremony when we start medical school, and they give us a white coat. We've all busted our tails to get that long-awaited white coat. The doctor garb. It's a pretty exciting time. You almost feel like a doctor. For a second anyway. Then you realize that your short white coat is like having "I don't know anything, and I'm going to get in your way" stamped on your forehead.

Four years later, we got new white coats--with a few inches added to them. These are the real, I'm-legit, long, white, doctor coats. The night before graduation, our class gathered along with our closest friends and family for a cocktail party, dinner, and of course, the coat-gettin'. They called our names one at a time, and we walked to the stage to receive our coats. It was a really fun night. This time I actually didn't feel like a doctor at all. I felt like a huge poser. Like I stole someone else's coat. Am I really a doctor???!!! I'm getting used to it, but sometimes it's still weird.

Katie, you're welcome :)

Reading sweet cards from my mama and mamaw & pap.

Begin the Sandidge-Ashley-Katie photo shoot:

One of my favorite pictures from the evening. So typical.

Let me know if you need a good doctor. I know some folks :)


Laura A. Newman, M.D.

I started writing this post in May. It is August. Turns out residency is a busy time. Who would've thought?

After 23 consecutive years of school, I am so excited to finally be finished. I am officially Laura Newman, M.D. Whaaaaaat?!?! That's so weird. Exciting, but bizarre.

I love this quote by Charles Dickens in Tale of Two Cities. I think it pretty much sums up the last 4 years of my life:

"It was the best of times, it was the worse of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was  the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us..."

It's been a mighty long road, and I would never have gotten here without the love, support, encouragement, meals, and prayers from my friends and family. I'm so grateful for Matt, and the overwhelming patience and truly unconditional love he has shown me over the last four years. I think since he made it through the constant smell of formaldehyde for 5 months during gross anatomy, we're going to make it through anything! I'm also eternally grateful for my mama, who has always been my biggest cheerleader. Sometimes during medical school you just need someone to tell you that you can do it. Not to mention, during Step 1 and Step 2, she did my laundry and made my dinner every single day for those 2 months. There are so many people that were there along the way, and I love every single one of you. Thank you.

I have made some of the best friends of my life. No one else can really understand what we've been through. We've seen and done some things that probably horrify most people. We've dissected human beings in the middle of the night in a room filled with dead bodies. We've stuck our fingers in some unfortunate places in living people. As one of our attendings likes to say, "We do things to people that, if done inside a hotel room, would be considered a crime." We've been pooped on. We've been vomited on. Some of us have even been assaulted. But we've also had incredible experiences that I feel so lucky to have had. We've delivered babies. We've watched people go from death's door to walking out of the hospital. It's such a privilege, and I am so pumped that I get to do it for the rest of my life.

And this is only the beginning.

I started off the morning of graduation by forgetting my breakfast. Then the following conversation happened via text message:
Me: Have you left your house yet?
Morgan: Yeah, why?
Me: Dangit. You're always on time. I wanted you to bring me something for breakfast. I forgot my granola bar.
Morgan: Don't worry. I have goldfish. You know I always have snacks.
Me: This is why we are friends.

Morgan has become one of my very best friends. My med school bestie, for sure. We've been friends since the get-go, and I don't think I could've survived the last 4 years without her. She matched in med/peds here, and I'm so thankful she didn't leave me! And here she is, carrying my breakfast.

Don't know what I'd do without this guy.

My twin. M1 year, Hayes and I had the same haircut and the same glasses. We became friends quickly, and we were always together that first semester. This apparently caused great confusion. People actually thought we were twins at first, and people could not tell us apart unless we were together. This baffles me because I think we look nothing alike, but I got called the wrong name about twice a day for at least 2 years, so evidently we do.

Diploma: check.

Hood: check.

My wonderful family.

Probably my favorite picture of the day.

BFF for life. 

More family! So glad all of you came!!

Couldn't have gotten through this without my mama. She's the best.

Above all else, I thank my Jesus for His grace and provision and for trusting me to serve Him as a physician. Mama, thank you for always believing in me and thinking that I’m smarter than I really am. Mike, thank you for everything you’ve ever done that you never had to do. Daddy, thank you for your encouragement and for continuing to give me an allowance despite my being 26 years old. To all three of you, I’m forever grateful for the sacrifices you’ve made to help me achieve my dreams. Katie, thank you for cleaning my bathroom every time you come over. Finally, Matt, thank you for your patience, understanding, and unending love and support. Thank you for making me laugh every single day and for learning how to cook something other than hamburger helper. To my friends, “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me.’” –Erma Bombeck