Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Why Medicine?

Yesterday I had a patient ask me "Why is it that you do what you do?"

He had a granddaughter who was successful but was thinking about switching to medicine, and his thoughts were that it was an extremely tough career.

"Is it worth it," he asked? "What keeps you going?"

Woah. It's been a while since I've heard that question.

As he was talking, I caught myself about to switch into interview mode. After all, most of us have answered this question a million times - to get into medical school, to curious friends/family members along the way, to get into residency, etc... and many of us have a handy reply that sounds good and moves us right along to the next question.

But this was a different situation.

He wasn't sitting across a table, judging me by my answers. I was already his doctor, he already trusted me and my judgement, and he just wanted to know the simple truth.

So I told him.

I absolutely think that medicine is worth it. (On a silly note, what other field lets me run into the "bedrooms" of people who wear a piece of cloth that only covers their front? :P ) But seriously, medicine has been worth it for the people that I meet and for what they teach me. I don't mean what I learn from them about their medical conditions. That's interesting but not all that fulfilling. More what I learn from them about how they deal with life and their pearls of wisdom. Like the fact that this man was still happily married to his wife of 50+ years. "Never go to bed angry if you want to stay married." Words of wisdom. Granted, these encounters don't come every day, but that just makes them more special.

They never fail to remind me how lucky I am do be doing what I'm doing...


Blogger Audria-Lee said...

I want to thank you for writing this blog. I've been reading it, hoping to glean some value for a decision which looms in my future. I'm a pre-med student in my freshmen year of college, and recently, I've been forced to examine my want to become a doctor. This has helped me regain my sense of why I first chose to chase after this dream.
Again, Thank you.

5:20 PM  
Blogger wandering visitor said...

Hi Audria,

thanks for visiting.

am glad you are considering a career in medicine. it's important to really think it over and know that this is what you want to do. it's a very long road, and as you can probably tell from the posts, there are ups and downs along the way. healthcare and medicine is a ever changing field, and there are significant pressures. it's not for everyone, and people usually have no idea what they are in for when they "sign up" to be a physician. having said that, it's been a good journey that i would do again.

good luck with your decision, and if you choose to become a physician, may it be for you what you wish it to be.

11:52 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home