I imagine there are thousands of doctors & medical students who’ve had these exact thoughts run through their minds. I know I’ve had moments when I felt powerless and dumb. This being the season of the match, I have seen fellow students tweeting and posting the outcomes, some with excitement and some with despair. To you I say congrats and keep your head up. Your hard work will eventually pay off. Among students and seasoned physicians alike, conversations over a bite to eat or coffee occur with one leaning to the other saying, “I can’t believe I am allowed to do this for a living”.
I am reminded everyday of the journey I embarked on beginning all the way back in high school. The dream of one day being able to say I am a doctor and now finding myself evermore closer as each day passes. What a wild roller coaster! This video reminds me of the times when I would sit in on lectures and begin day dreaming while looking around the class. Sure, I was surrounded by really smart and bright individuals, at the same time I caught myself thinking, there is no way I would take my child to see that soon to be doctor if and when he or she graduates.
I think the key to being a great doctor is to have a careful and intentional passion and to be sociably geared toward forward thinking treatments, procedures, and conversation. Finding common ground with your patients and a professional respect amongst your colleagues must be balanced. Being approachable yet revered is hard to balance and many doctors find themselves alienated to one extreme or the other. Some having worked so hard to get to their current position they’d rather compromise the relationship with their patients to maintain their prestige amongst their colleagues. Dave Foley, in this video, points out the obvious, in that, anyone can become a doctor and many times there are those who get past all of the arbitrary exams and hurdles but ultimately seem incompetent to really do the job well. Do you feel this way towards of any of your colleagues? You don’t have to confess one way or the other. I would guess we all have someone in our heads who doesn’t meet our own standards or doesn’t fit into the ideal physician criteria we’ve created for ourselves.
My hope is, as I continue along this road, I keep that careful passion and intention which fueled my pursuit of medicine in the beginning. Looking for better ways to handle situations such as telling a family there was nothing I could do to save their loved one. In that same moment, I hope I can see the beauty of my profession, that we can’t fix everyone and more work is left to be done. This is why I find the web and technology so fascinating. It is giving all of us in the industry a new perspective on how we can approach, treat, and continue to grow as professionals. Bringing people and patients evermore closer to the people they call their doctor.
As we all work to get to the end of the day, see all our patients, or pass our next exam. Let us be reminded, there is more to our profession then just how many charts we get through, what score we got on our exam, or the amount of money we can make with our practice. There are people who count on us, who want to know how to better themselves. As physicians lets see how best we can empower and educate one another along the way. Could it be that some of the greatest physicians never even end up practicing medicine? Sometimes it takes a short video full or creative and honest satire to remind us where we came from.