Saturday, February 20, 2010

From Unemployed to Dr. James Yurcek Surgeon

Doc (My husband and I still cannot believe it)
See the Patients Testimonial Video and Doc in Action
at Grant Regional Hospital

Twenty years ago last month, my husband lost his job and we were forced into poverty to cover our daughter's hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. She was only six months old and we had a dying baby and no job. Limited by the state to $800 a month to qualify for medicaid and his employer did not want to put our critically ill baby on insurance when open enrollment came around.

I found this picture today on the hospital website and thought I would post it to inspire. Pinch me, I still cannot believe that we went from poverty to my husband being a doctor.

Jim went back to school when Becca was two. Two years of undergraduate coursework to add to his bachelors business degree and four years of Medical School all supported by delivering newspapers in the wee hours of the morning and student loans. He did so carrying an impressive 4.0 GPA. He will admit the first time he went through school all he got out of it was himself.

When he was deciding on which specialty he was going into, I told him he had to go for a short residency (3 years for primary care), but he wanted to be a pathologist (5 years). The day he came home from his first day of his surgical rotation, I knew he was going to be a surgeon. But he argued with me. I told him surgeons have the reputation of being arrogant, and what a waste of talent when he has people skills and has been on the other side of bad news.

In 1997 we left Minnesota and moved to Residency. A 5-year General Surgery Residency with our six biological children and 6 siblings separated in foster care. I tell people "think Grays Anatomy plus a dozen kids". Our lives were more drama than the television show!

Lesson: When life changes, it is just another opportunity around the corner. Sometimes it may seem impossible. But how will you know until you are daring enough to try.

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