Yesterday, I got called into the principal's office. I was immersed in my usual daily tasks when I got paged out of the blue by one of the senior administrators, and when I returned the page she asked me to "come to her office" so that "we could talk". Being a typically anxious internal medicine resident, and having a healthy dose of impostor syndrome, I immediately started thinking of all of the things that I might have done wrong. Had one of the med students complained about me? Had one of the patients I admitted to hospital done poorly because I'd made a misdiagnosis or forgotten to order a crucial medication? What could it be, what could it be?
Fortunately, despite my neuroticism, I hadn't done anything wrong, but rather was being called to the administrator's office so that she could invite me to conduct a clinic with her in Northern (very, very Northern) Canada. My brain immediately went through the following series of thoughts over about two seconds.
Oh thank goodness. I didn't screw anything up.
How flattering! She wants me, ME, to run a clinic with her.
So cool. I get to go to Nunavut. I've never been that far north. So cool.
And then, immediately after I agreed, the next thought was Oh my god what have I done? I'm not competent enough to be working mostly independently in a remote community with no resources. I'm not smart or skilled or confident or fast or ANYTHING enough to do this. As soon as I said yes, I wanted to take the word back and say No, no, not me. I'll just stay here in my comfortable little bubble and not take on anything that's too stressful or challenging.
But I didn't. And so, two months from now, while it's still unbelievably cold (especially in Nunavut), I will head up North for four days to be one of two doctors in a tiny little community where most people don't have running water and very few people speak English. I am simultaneously excited, delighted, and absolutely terrified.