As I wrap up four years of intense Classical Chinese medical training, each day presents me with opportunities for reflection and gratitude. The training I've had has been intense with classes in classical Chinese language, biomedical classes (including a cadaver lab), qi gong, theory and practical practice. We have taken between 7-11 classes per quarter (contrast this with my last graduate program where I took an average of 3 classes per quarter and for only 2 years)! I am exhausted to say the least.
This time for wrapping up my degree and saying goodbye to this group of fellow students that has formed such close bonds has given me pause. "Bittersweet" is the best word for what I am feeling. We have really formed a family and I am honored to have been welcomed into several lineages. "Lineage" being the traditional way this medicine has been shared - often from parent to child for generations or master to disciple. One of my teachers, Dr. Lee, recently celebrated with those of us who spent the last year learning formulas with him as part of a formal mentorship elective. His deeply meaningful gesture, handmade hanging gourds with a quote from Confucius, reminded us that his door is always open to us.
It is this close relationship and continued offer of connection that soothes all the bruises from a tough four years. I also think it is what makes the CCM program I studied in special and makes me honored to be a graduate of my program.