Surgical residency here I come!


(can you spot the dexcom??)

Sorry to have been off of FUD for some time as I’ve been busy with med school - but I wanted to share the great news that I’ve matched into plastic surgery residency! I’ve matched at an incredible training program for 6 years where I already feel very welcomed. I know it’s going to be a wild journey, but I’m super excited to have found my dream career.

Longer post to come once the match day hangover has passed, but I wanted to share the great news in the meantime :smile: you can call me Dr. W in a few months :wink:

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Congrats !!!

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Congratulations!

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Awesome! Congrats!

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Congrats Dr W! (@LarissaW )

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Congratulations!!!

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Congrats! So happy for you!!
:star_struck: :heart_eyes: :partying_face:

You are one in a minion!

8xkV

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Congratulations, It is so good to move into a path that is right for one. One of my cycling buddies gave us the news about his doctor daughter for Match Day. I had never heard the term before, but I am evidently not too old to learn new stuff. Anyway, her smiling photo is a Match with yours

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Congrats on the match! My father was a plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in hands and burns, with a focus on microsurgery and reimplantation. He took a lot of ER call and also had a big cosmetic practice. So I grew up with surgical slides around the house (in the pre-phone era) and plastics journals as reading material. It can be a terrific profession. I’m sure you’ll find the residency an exciting challenge.

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AMAZING CONGRATS!!!~ Woohoo @LArissaW

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Congratulations!

The Peanuts Movie Dancing GIF

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YAY!!!

I remember when you were discussing whether you could manage med school and diabetes or not…

…and here you are! Totally killin’ it!!! Thank you for inspiring us and letting us ride along!!!

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Thank you for all the support and kind words :smiley: !!!

I wanted to share a little about what’s brought me here today, diabetes-related and not. When I went into medical school, I thought I was going to go into internal medicine to become an endocrinologist. I really wanted to be able to connect with my patients and help them with their health and do everything I could to give them all the tools they need for a great quality of life. I thought I would HATE surgery. So, when organizing my schedule of rotations, I put surgery first so that I could get it out of the way and learn how to speak medicine and work in the hospital. Turns out - I LOVED being in the OR, working with my hands, being on a team, practicing surgical skills, and studying anatomy. But I still felt a kind of disconnect with how we were really touching our patients’ lives while on the general surgery service (appendicitis - ok take the appendix out, but it just wasn’t my jam as far as patient interactions and satisfaction I was looking for). I had the lucky opportunity to be in the plastic surgery OR for a day or two while on my general surgery rotation. In the first surgery, we were taking a suspicious lesion (possibly cancerous, possibly benign) off a patient’s face, in their eyebrow. The attending surgeon turns to me (lowly med student) and asks how I think our repair of his surgical dissection will impact his life - think if botched and his eyebrow grew in jagged how that would affect job opportunities, making first impressions, finding a partner, etc. Though a pretty simple surgical case, it was extremely gratifying to see our results at the end of the case and know how that would impact that patient as they left the hospital. Plastic surgery operates head to toe (children born with skull deformities/craniofacial differences, reconstructing breasts for breast cancer survivors, covering wounds with skin grafts, replanting fingers that have been cut off like @needlesandmath 's father), though all of these share the common goal of maintaining or improving quality of life.

But you may say - can a type 1 diabetic really perform surgery, and make it through the training??? Yes - the training is totally grueling (on your feet all day, 14+ hour surgeries, frequently 80 hr work weeks and sometimes 100+). I shared similar doubts, very real doubts, where I wondered if I would be potentially putting patients in harm’s way if I were to pursue surgery (ask @Eric ). On my interviews for plastic surgery residency, I was frequently asked “what has been a life-altering moment?” For me, it was one of my last days on my general surgery rotation when an attending surgeon (in his 50s or 60s) pulled me aside and revealed that he too has T1D, diagnosed as a child, and that he pursued his dream of becoming a surgeon. He underwent residency when the work hours didn’t have restrictions, with much more grueling of a work environment, and without any of our new diabetes technology. Only a few of his coworkers now even know about his diabetes. To me, this opened SO many doors - if he could do it, so could I - his patients were well cared for, and I feel lucky to have access to dexcom and tandem which can take over when I’m in a long surgery. I spent 5 months on plastic surgery subinternships and never had to leave the OR due to blood sugar issues. I mean I ran a dang marathon (thank you Eric as always)!! So - my viewpoint has shifted over the years from MUD (mostly unlimited from diabetes) to a true FUD (fully unlimited from diabetes). And that viewpoint would not have shifted without this community, a great running coach, that surgeon who shared with me, my family/friends, and making the jump to believe in myself to do the dang thing.

You may be wondering - did I just get accepted into this ultracompetitive field thanks to my diabetes? Partly yes and partly no. I did not include my diagnosis anywhere on my application for fear that it would be perceived as a weakness or any hindrance to my abilities. Only in my interviews with programs that I felt strongly about did I disclose, with the goals of showing my strengths and that this is NOT a hindrance (ie they gave me an interview seeing I could do plastic surgery (and run a marathon!) without realizing a had a potential obstacle). My co-residents, attendings, and program faculty will kind of become my new family as plastic surgery is a very small field and I will be there for 6 years, working shoulder to shoulder with this group, so I felt it was important that they see the real me, the strong me, if I was seriously considering their program. I will say - diabetes has helped me get to this point because it instilled in me a drive and perseverance I don’t think I would have without having diabetes; we can all relate to the moments you just do not want to deal with testing blood sugar or changing a site or thinking about how much to bolus, and it does NOT go away. But I’m stronger for carrying this baggage, and I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful I can relate to my patients on a deep level. I’m thankful to have found my passion and to be able to pursue it.

So - cheers if you made it through all of that! I hope I can pass along to future kiddos with aspirations that they can really do what they want. I hope to be able to show that you can make it, even if you don’t always feel like you belong. Thank you FUD and thank you @Eric specifically for all of the support and faith even when I didn’t have it!

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I can relate to both of the above statements. From the rest of your post, I think you are going to be an exemplary doctor, surgeon who will see the patient as a person. Good luck to you.

BTW - I never heard of Match Day until my friend posted his daughter’s picture. That was a day or two before your good news. Recently met 2 women doctors who hope to be surgeons - one orthopedic the other cardiac thoracic. Both sound as excited as you.

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@LarissaW I am so excited for you. That is an amazing accomplishment! You are truly unlimited, and I am so glad you have the time to share part of your journey with us! Having worked with great pediatric CT surgeons in the OR, having listened to their training tales and seeing the amazing things they can do to improve people’s lives I am so happy you have chosen to take the difficult path in life and will be making a huge difference in your patients lives. Congrats.

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I was so touched by reading this. There is so much I want to say, but I will try to capture most of it with just a few things.

I have been speaking with @Larissa for a little over 4 years (since she started med school). As she has said to me - that 4 years is actually like 10 years. So in reality, I have been speaking with her for 10 years. :grinning:

Early on, she referenced a quote from her undergrad commencement- “Go forth and set the world on fire.”

At this point, I know she will do that.




Another thing we discussed about 4 years ago was the idea of how our actions are like ripples in a pond. They go on and on. We don’t see them all, and we don’t see them return to us. But we know they are there and we know that they keep moving outward, touching so many.

At such a young age, only in her 20’s, @Larissa has already done something that will keep touching lives which she will never even know. Just like the T1 doctor who spoke to her while she was in her surgery rotation and touched her life, @Larissa is doing something that shows every young T1 what can be done.

It is phenomenal to be such a positive influence already at this stage in her life. I can’t even adequately express that.

Larissa, you have already done so much, and you haven’t even started!




And last (even though I have a million more things I could say), I have been so blessed to have @Larissa as a friend for the past 4 years. She was there in all of the most joyous triumphs, but also there for me as a friend when I was at my lowest.

Recently when I was hurt and at my lowest, she talked me off the ledge and even sent me ice-cream to give me a little bit of relief from my sadness. I was so grateful to have her as a friend.

She talks about patient interaction and improving quality of life. There is no doubt what she can do there. I have experienced it.




I can’t even adequately express it all. I am overjoyed at all of this. Hugs to you, @Larissa.

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Yet another role model for Liam. Thank you @LarissaW. Beautiful and touching post.

Congratulations on all your successes and capturing the FUD bug! Now, hang onto it!

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Fantastic news!

Go forth and kick @$$!!!

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Congrats @LarrisaW

From AGT… On fire

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Really?