I love my job. It is fun and exciting. It holds mystery and chaos. The job is serious business, but done with a smile.
My patients become my community. We work together towards a common goal of health and vitality. They don’t always take my advice, but that is OK. I don’t always follow my own advice either.
I believe in ethics. I believe in professionalism. I believe in listening.
I don’t always dress professional. I wear blue jeans. Sometimes socks, sometimes not. Sometimes a tie, but most often not. I do not speak professionally. I speak normally. I tell jokes. I laugh. I smile. I listen. I am who I am and my patients don’t seem to give a damn.
I may not be professional (in the common use of the phrase), but I am a professional. I always strive to make the best decision with the information I have.
It is not always easy. Some days are longer than others. Some nights are filled with trips to the ICU to manage a sick patient or to just sit with the family and try to comfort them. Sometimes, we have done all we can. And there is nothing left but to ease the pain of the dying and give comfort and consolation to the living.
But most days aren’t filled with death and sadness. Most days I feel guilty. I feel guilty to be this happy. To be doing something that I love. Something that gives back more than it takes. Something that isn’t measured by a 401k, IRA, or HSA. Something that transcends. Something that makes me feel alive.
When I hear doctors complain, I just have to shake my head. The system is rigged against them for sure. The insurance companies, the lawyers, the government bureaucracy. They are all out to take something away from the doctor/patient experience.
But we will not go gentle into that good night. For there is much worth fighting for. Worth dying for. Worth living for.