Deepak Chopra: the Best mistake of my life

When I was a young doctor, in the third decade of my life, I got a fellowship at a leading endocrinologist in the country. My passionate love of learning continued unabated. I have already finished one two-year residency and was qualified in internal medicine.

At that time, in the early 70-ies, residency required a good scholarship at least in order to be able to make ends meet, but I still had to support his family.

However, I was not happy at work. I was the authoritarian head of research and all the time I spent in his lab, or grinding away the iodine laboratory rats, either by swiping their autopsies to study the impact of iodine on their body.


Endocrinology, dealing with the study of the hormones secreted by the endocrine system is accurate and technical specialty. I have a much greater excitement was caused by the patient, rather than the need to plow in the laboratory, but I was still fascinated by the detective element of this work.

Now, forty years later, a study of three hormones secreted by the thyroid gland, seems to be something very simple, however, once the actuality was that my supervisor was one of the pioneers in the field of research of reverse triiodothyronine hormone. We worked in an atmosphere of intense competition, competing with other research teams working in this area: our entire world had narrowed to the size of the thyroid gland.

During the regular meeting of the employees of the laboratory, I began to feel dissatisfaction. My supervisor decided to test my knowledge before the whole group: "How many milligrams of iodine were injected in their rat Milne and Greer article in 1959?" It was about the fundamental experimental work, but I answered casually, as long as it is still, in fact, did not need information, he just wanted to put me in a difficult position in front of other employees:

— Maybe two and one-tenth milligrams. I see the exact figure.

— This information must be driven into your head! irritably, he snapped. Everyone in the room fell silent.

I stood up, walked over to him and dropped on his head a large folder of papers.

— Now they are driven into your head — I said and walked out.

I was annoyed. I went out to the Parking lot and awkwardly tried to make his beat — up Volkswagen beetle- the car that became a symbol of struggling with the difficulties of young professionals. My supervisor followed me, red with anger, shouting: "all right, come the end of your career!"

Then he leaned over to me and with seeming composure, designed to hide his anger, said:

Don't do it, — he warned, — you undermine your entire career. Can I make it so that your career came to an end.

It was the truth. The word come out, and without his recommendations I have no future in endocrinology. But in my understanding I do not undermine my career — I gave a rebuff to those who tried to humiliate me in front of other people. My impulsive rebellion was instinctive and yet very unusual for me.

I made your "Volkswagen beetle" and left him standing in the Parking lot of the hospital.


"Follow your bliss"


The rumor really broke, and I was expecting the prospect of unemployment (except for some schlock, which could I come across, the lowest paid hard work in the Boston medicine). The torment followed me. All these thoughts came to me in less than five minutes later. Because of this, I stopped in a bar on the way home, before you tell this terrible news to his wife, Rita.

There's an old saying: for Vera there is no one more dangerous than a renegade. Boston medicine was my true faith. I did not intend to renounce from it. If you'd asked me the day before I had dropped a folder of papers on the head of a famous doctor, I would have sworn to be faithful to her. Honestly, I had no reason to become a defector, at least rational. From the Church do not go, if there's some other Church that you can join. However, the only way to see if there are demons outside the circle, is to go beyond the line which protects you. That was the true beginning of life, woven from the revelations. I can't ascribe the authorship of any of them, but a secret force inside of me silently cleared a path for me.

And yet I really was a defector and soon took over the "shoddy" work in the ICU, where I began to observe not only the physical injuries of their patients, but their emotional pain. I started to write about these experiences, which was the beginning of my career in integrative medicine, as well as writing.

Conclusion: follow your bliss.published


Author: Deepak Chopra, the translation of Eugene Pustoshkin


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