I recently rotated on pediatric ophthalmology as part of my required surgical electives block, and despite being a budding future pediatrician, I had a mini-career crisis and my original career choices were called into question.
Though I largely ruled out being an ophthalmologist and staring at eyeballs behind a magnifying glass for the next 40 years of my life, I came into contact with the field again, and actually realized that there were many merits I didn’t consider before. For one, you never have to listen to the heart or lungs or examine any other part of the body minus the eyeball. You can do an exam on a patient and almost instantly figure out what’s wrong without needing to get a CT or other diagnostics. Everything that can go wrong with the eye actually have a cause and connect logically and beautifully with different visual pathways in the brain. And last but not least, being able to see really means a lot to most people, and it’s truly gratifying to help someone to see.
Of course, it also doesn’t hurt that ophthalmologists earn much much more than pediatricians.
On somedays, I really question why I decided to join a low-paying and relatively low bar field, given that my grades are probably good enough for a much more traditionally competitive specialty, like dermatology or ophthalmology. The overachiever side of me begin to protest and I enter this career crisis. But then my happy balanced-life side pulls me back to all the reasons I picked pediatrics: my love for taking care of kids, empathizing with their parents, interesting diseases and ability to integrate the whole body system, flexible work schedules, etc.
I have no doubt that salary does factor into my equation quite a bit, and I’m not sure if this nagging doubt will ever complete go away, but I have come to terms with the fact that, I simply will not be as content if I picked another field, money aside. And for now, this is enough reason for persevering. Plus, career isn’t everything to life, and one does not have to be limited to a single career in their lifetime.
For me at least, cooking and eating make up a huge part of my satisfaction pie. And last week, I made a breakfast hash full of veggies, healthy carbs and proteins, that I can eat anytime of the day. Win! Plus, I took advantage of my cast iron skillet to sauté then bake the dish which saves a lot of dish washing. So here it is, an easy nutritious one pot meal for your next week nights.
Sweet Potato and Chorizo Hash
- 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
- 1 Tbsp of olive oil
- Fennel seeds
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 orange bell peppers, diced in large pieces
- 1 packet of chorizo
Preheat oven to 400F.
Toss diced sweet potato with olive oil, fennel seeds, paprika, salt in a baking tray lined with foil. Toss to coat evenly.
Roast sweet potato in the oven for 20 minutes. Turn oven to broil for the last 2 minutes.
In a skillet, heat up canola oil and sauté onions for 10 minutes until translucent. Add bell peppers and garlic to skillet and sauté for another 3 minutes.
In a cast iron skillet, cook chorizo until meat is browned and slightly crispy. This can take 10 minutes.
Add onions and bell peppers as well as sweet potatoes into the chorizo and mix thoroughly. With oven turned on 350F, transfer cast iron skillet to oven and bake hash for 10 minutes.