First, I tried to get into a top college and the answer was "No." So I went to a state university and got mostly C's in my freshman year.
Then, I tried to get into med school but again the answer was "No"," but after spending a year taking more science courses to boost my GPA (it didn't work) and working as a waiter, an osteopathic med school accepted me a few days before classes started. (A few days before that I drove to a man's house in Brooklyn and gave him $1500 cash to admit me to a Mexican medical school.) In osteopathic med school, I got mostly B's.
Then, I tried to get a decent pediatric residency and the answer was "No," so I did my first year of residency in a mediocre program and then transferred into a great program. Luckily, no grades in residency.
Then, I tried to get into a top anesthesia residency. The answer was "No" from almost all the top programs, except one who had a previous osteopathic med student that was very good, so they took a chance on another.
Then, I was accepted and attended the pediatric anesthesia fellowship program at CHOP, one of the best and most well known in the world. I'm 32 years old at the time. Things are starting to look up...
Then, I tried to get an attending job at CHOP and the answer is "No," even though osteopaths can be fellows in this department, they don't hire us as attendings. So I launch my career from elsewhere. Each year over the next 10 years, I ask again if I can work at CHOP. The answer is always the same: "No". In the meantime I start a family and form relationships with amazing colleagues and mentors who are to become my best friends and most important people in my life.
Then, in 2000, the new Chairman at CHOP, in the process of expanding the department, heard I wanted to work here, and offered me a job on the phone. I moved here in 2001 and have been here ever since. As far as I know, I'm the only osteopathic physician to ever achieve Full Professor in the CE (Academic track) in the history of the PSOM.
Sometimes, it takes time, and the journey is then even more satisfying and worthwhile.