On Friday, May 10th 2013, my brother Jeremy graduated from medical school. A pretty hefty accomplishment, if you ask me. Even if you don’t ask me, it’s notable.
Jason, Jeremy, and I grew up together in Albuquerque, NM, and although I’m not biologically in the fraternal hood, they’ve adopted me as the third brother, and for that I’m ever grateful. Dammit! <<flaps hands up and down in front of face>> and I swore I wouldn’t cry!
But back to the whole graduating-from-medical-school thing. It’s something I’ve thought about (and I presume most people have at least once), but never has seemed fitting. When we first heard he had decided to go through with it, one of my initial questions was ‘why?’. Not that I didn’t think he could, of course; he’s a smart guy with a background solidly grounded in computer science. I wasn’t questioning his ability to absorb the material or make a career with. My question was aiming to understand the motive, as going through something that rigorous, generally speaking, requires some pretty staunch conviction, some purpose. I was curious as to what his was.
At the southern tip of Spain, near the small coastal town of Cádiz, travelers can have themselves ferried across the Strait of Gibraltar into Northern Africa (where, unbeknownst to many, the Spanish still retain a vestige of colonial expansion with the territory of Ceuta). Several years back, Jer had taken a trip through Europe, and stopped in Morocco for a stint. The only image I can associate with him in this place is a picture of his sad attempt at camel-riding. But, for Jer, there was more to it. He told me that it was from seeing the destitution of some of Morocco’s populous – the physical ailments, maladies, and deformities from those in and outside the city, that he wanted to do something about it. He wanted to help people.
So, he did just what good medical students are supposed to do. He shut himself in an apartment at the edge of the University of New Mexico campus, jumped into the deep end of medical-science madness, and treaded water for four years. On Friday, we celebrate and congratulate him for making his way back to poolside. It’s just for a breather, though; we all know that. These are the waters in which Jer has chosen to swim and know, and we support the hell out of that.
Anyway, Jer, congratulations. You’re an inspiration to us all. We love you, brother.