My Life on Paper

Curriculum Vitae, or CV, loosely translates into “the course of my life.”  It serves as the equivalent of a resume in the medicine world. It feels like an answer to the question, “Who are you, and why should we hire you?” In this season of change, I am provoked to consider the story of my life. 

Over the last 6 months, I have married the love of my life, closed up my medicine practice of four years, and moved to a massive and thriving city to be with my husband. This is a lot of transition for me. As I consider my CV, questions swirl in my head: What is the journey of my life? How do I communicate this in a two-page, bullet- point list? Are these the things that matter to me? Does it matter to prospective employers who I am?

My CV feels paltry and plain, a little naked. There’s my name, contact info, where I’ve worked and my educational credentials. The stated locations and dates feel like a pencil silhouette of my life. It gives one the general sense of a form, but lacks detail, color, and depth. From an outside perspective, it is merely another position held, churning through countless patient encounters, but for me, those years held all the experiences that developed who I am today as a physician. Medicine became a unique intersection between physical ailments and patients’ stories and beliefs. It was treating heart failure and diagnosing cancer. It was exploring the cause of fatigue: maybe a vitamin D deficiency or sleep deprivation from stress.

That season was full of building relationships of trust with my patients. I knew their spouses, hobbies, and ailments. We explored their anxieties, hubris, and beliefs. They knew my boundaries and values. (I can be a feisty physician to deal with!)  We sometimes disagreed and came to some sort of compromise. We joked around and laughed together, and sometimes wept and cried out to the Lord together. They entrusted me with stories of walking through cancer, wayward children, and deep grief.

From these experiences, I learned what it was to age and mourn well. But on paper, it’s just a location and four years.

The CV serves as a way to market myself and say, “You want me on your team.” An employer sees my work in terms of profitability and superficial (and somewhat misguided) rubrics. I get it; it’s a business.  But I wonder, “Do I want to be on their team? Do I want what they want?”

As a single woman, I knew who I was and what my priorities were. Over a decade ago, I felt the Lord’s calling to take part in His tangible mercy in medicine. This remains unwavering and a guiding light.  He has shown His goodness and favor in the patients I have worked with. I am so grateful for that. But as a wife, the stakes have changed. I have changed. My desires, hopes and dreams are now in the context of our desires, hopes and dreams. It’s not just about me anymore.

So, in that stack of papers will lie my CV, a documentation of the course of my life. It maps my accomplishments, but is a dim reflection of who I am and God’s hand in my story. I trust that His goodness and love will continue to lead and hold me in this new season.

Aimee is an Asian American physician, recently married to the love of her life.  She loves deep, honest conversation, being silly with her husband and pondering God’s presence in this broken world.  She is honored to contribute to Red Tent Living, but requests anonymity in respect for her personal and professional privacy.