Leaving the apartment Michael made his way to breakfast. Two blocks from the hospital he stopped at a local diner.After ordering his breakfast he took out his notebook and began to practice the answers he presumed would be part of the interview process .After finishing two eggs over easy,bacon, hash browns and two cups of coffee he felt less anxious about the incident in the park.He actually began to smile envisioning the glaring headlines in the New York News and New York Times.” Physician arrested for mugging a person in central park”. The suspect of this dastardly crime has been connected to a series of attacks on the East Side The alleged perpetrator of these crimes Dr.Michael Mcnallywill be arraigned and sent to Rikers island. He could imagine his friends in Jersey City being interviewed by reporters stating that McNally had a sinister past and his penchant for violence was not a suprise.
Michael paid the bill left the diner ,and as he walked he began to collect his reasons for why he had chosen to pursue a surgical residency. There was one redeeming aspect to the experience in central park ,his nervousness had evaporated That morning he was more concerned with being arrested then not performing well in the interview Within ten minutes he had arrived at the behemoth hospital complex.. His first impression of the exterior of the buildings was that the hospital apparently had seen better days. The facade of each building. needed a good sandblasting. The harshness of the East Coast climate had clearly faded the original color of the buildings ,and there were more than a few cracked or broken windows. As he walked through the heavily stained glass front doors and made his way toward the information desk he was keenly aware of the gritty appearance of the reception area. Ceilings had large water stains ,as well as floors filled with candy and cigarette wrappers.The walls were gritty and desperately in dire need of a new paint job.The semi-darkness Indicated that some of the ceiling lights had burnt out bulbs. The waiting area was filled to capacity, and the foul language of those present resembled longshoremen at their best. Weaving his way through the clientele to what was billed as the information desk he inquired as to how he could find Dr Fournier.The person behind the desk responded as if he had insulted her family ,and with a scowl on her face said”he is on the third floor”.Her annoyance grew to complete disdain when Michael asked for the elevators. She responded “they are at the end of the hall.” As Michael left this cheerful introduction to the hospital he was aware that the hallway next to the elevators was filled with gurneys that had patients on them, but no one attending to their needs.
As he left the elevator he was unsure of whether to go left or right.,He scoured the names on the doors ,at least those that actually had names..Finally he found. a door that had most of the word surgery on it. Apparently the E had faded and all that was left was SURGY.He knocked but there was no answer, so he opened the door and walked in. At that precise moment out of the next door came a physician holding a large group of files. Michel introduced himself and said”I have a nine o’clock appointment with Dr,Fornier. Dropping some of his folders the person bent to pick them up and said”I am Dr Fornier come into my office and have a seat.
Dr. Fornier went to a large metal filing cabinet in his office ,and after a few minutes of shuffling through the files pulled out what Michael suspected was his dossier .
Seated behind his desk Dr Fornier read the file and began by asking Michael some basic questions about his life and experience at Jefferson.After this Dr.Fornier
launched into a long straight from the shoulder expose about his life at Bellevue ,and what Michael could be expect if he was accepted into the resident’s program. He began with stripping any illusion about being prepared for the experience. “Let me begin by telling you that at your graduation everyone will be praising you and calling you Doctor. However in my opinion you will not really be a Doctor. After your surgical residency you will be a doctor.Here you will see and experience things that you will find nowhere else. We are the catch basin for every person that walks the streets of the city.There are those that use this facility as a hotel, and there are many that have no other place to go. For the alcoholics, some mental patients and street people the hospital is reduced to “three hots and a cot.” You will be attacked, cursed spit on, have puke on your shoes and wonder a million times why the hell you chose this place. Your television images of performing complicated surgeries and saving lives are merely fantasies You will work for thirty six hours straight,t and then have twelve hours off. You will be the bottom of the medical totem pole and perform often routine scut work.”
Michel in the midst of this expose momentarily wished he would be accepted by his second choice of hospital. However, after sharing all that was wrong about the place Dr Fornier explained why he chose to stay at Bellevue.
“In spite of all that I have laid out this morning the experience of being a doctor and surgeon here is phenomenal. Though often completely exhausted and working with minimal resources you will make a real difference here. I am privileged to work with an outstanding team of nurses and doctors. This is really a community that serves with an unbelievable dedication to any and all that come through pour doors.”As Dr Fournier went on Michael could literally see and understand the commitment that this man had made to others. His initial fear that he would be accepted at Bellevue now was transformed into the hope that this would be the place where he would spend his surgical development.