Day 5 [NYC] It Needs Passion

PASSION IS A FEELING OF LIFE, IT MAKES ONE’S STRUGGLE MORE REWARDING. As I struggle through all the unwritten entries this weekend, I noticed that it was passion that keeps me moving. It’s the passion of a parent that wakes her up in the morning to nurture and care for their children, it’s the passion of a teacher that allows her to give and not asking in return, it’s the passion of a chef that pushes him to cook out of his heart. New York is filled with passion, and you have to be here to feel that.


Morning clinic is Pediatric Neurology, a subject that I certainly have no passion whatsoever about. Yet, while I was following some of the residents around, the engaging and informative talks given by the attending, who is an elderly lady in her seventies, allowed me to learn more than expected. Her approach is quick and firm, as she remembers almost all the patients she attended to, and yet she remains soft spoken and gentle towards the team. I hate to say that I learned a lot less knowledge-wise as other clinics, but the experience gave me more confidence I needed to become a physician.

I was in RGP (Resident Group Practice) in the afternoon, which FYI, is a follow up clinic that allows the residents to make appointments with them. I shadowed under a Dr. Ko, who in fact has parents who came from Taiwan (remember how I told you that you can meet Asians everywhere?). He is a third year resident, and works very efficiently with all his patients. Eventually I found out that he has a MD, a Master of Arts degree, and a Master of Public Health degree. That is PASSION, don’t you agree? He smiles a lot, looks at you with sincerity and talks to the patient attentively. I eventually found out that he is interested in health promotion and CDC stuff, and had just came back from South America doing something charitable. He gave me advice about my future residency choice and also a lot of tips about patient handling, which was very helpful.


As soon as I got off work, I was anticipated at the Tzu Chi Office in Flushing and so I came right back. There was a TIMA (Tzu Chi International Medical Association) weekly meeting, and my previous home stay Aunt Hui-Ru is actively involved in it. I also met the Burmese Chinese Dr. Du, the Director of the Free Clinic at California, who flew all the way here so that he can receive a generous donation from the Burmese Association in New York. The donation is meant for the devastation in Myanmar. From the meeting, I came to know that the New York TIMA is planning to start a community clinic in service of the non-insured people of Flushing. I’m sure there will be plenty of challenges along the way, but rest assured, these Tzu Chi people will never give up, as they have true passion in their hearts.

On one of my trips on the subway, I saw a sign:

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter – the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something… Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion.
E. B. White

I find this to be very true. The passion shown by the settlers, the newcomers, is what makes the city growing. It gives it life and creativity, and that makes it unique.

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