Chrissie DyBuncio

“‘So you’re telling me at best, I have ten years left,” she said, her voice starting to tremble. “That’s the best solution.’

‘Look we still have to biopsy it to know definitively what it is. We’re going to schedule your surgery for tomorrow or the next day, okay?’

As the men nodded, the resident slipped out of the room, and I found myself standing in the middle of a circle of a confused and terrified family. All their eyes were trained on me and my short white coat, the closest thing to a medical opinion in the room.”

Past Medical History: Becoming and Unbecoming a Doctor

A student’s journey to achieving her dream of becoming a doctor and the heart-wrenching decision to quit medicine. Despite eight years of study and deep student loan debt, the strains of working in a US medical system that is designed to create unempathetic, burnt-out caregivers, makes it impossible to stay. Can a system that can’t take care of its health workers take care of anyone at all? 

Chrissie is the child of Filipino immigrants and a former Ob/Gyn physician who lives and works out of her hometown of Los Angeles. Her writing has been published or is forthcoming in Slate and Intima.