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When I First Wore My White Coat


When I first wore my white coat, I thought I had arrived
At the place I had yearned for and fought for all my life
I remembered the village that raised me with firm drive
I stood under the glow of my forebears’ loving strife

At the place I had yearned for and fought for all my life
I felt the constant wrestle that threatened my self-worth
I stood under the glow of my forebears’ loving strife
My ambition to soar high like seeds were sowed on earth

I felt the constant wrestle that threatened my self-worth
When the knowledge seemed too vast and work did not relent
My ambition to soar high like seeds were sowed on earth
To heal and fight for justice where hearts are gravely spent

When the knowledge seemed too vast and work did not relent
I was tempted to give up, let go of the mission
To heal and fight for justice where hearts are gravely spent
Then I learned self kindness that breathes truth to transition

I was tempted to give up, let go of the mission
When my vicious fears faded, my purpose helped me stay
Then I learned self-kindness that breathes truth to transition
Telling me, though not quite there, I am well on my way

When my vicious fears faded, my purpose helped me stay
I remembered the village that raised me with firm drive
Telling me, though not quite there, I am well on my way
When I first wore my white coat, I thought I had arrived

Image credit: Journey by Febin Raj is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Russyan Mark Mabeza Russyan Mark Mabeza (1 Posts)

Medical Student Contributing Writer

University of California Los Angeles School of Medicine

Russyan moved to the United States from the Philippines when he was 15. His experiences as a low-income, immigrant of color are instrumental to his desire to pursue medicine and use it as a tool to elevate marginalized communities. A medical student at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, he hopes to one day be a primary care physician fighting for health equity through policy, advocacy and education. He enjoys coffee, singing, the enneagram and deep conversations.