Dear Patient | cedricsmom's Blog
I chose medicine as my career, because I feel great compassion for those around me who are suffering. My heart is filled with love, and a need to help. I don't have that"I don't give a shit" gene. I do. And when I go home at night you are on my mind. You make me worry, and cry, and laugh, and pray. I take the lessons of my day from you. I learn how to be a little more patient, loving, compassionate...from you. I also learn to be a little stronger, a little tougher, a little more willing to bend from you. Your lives touch me. And I feel that. Deeply.
I listen to your story about a sore throat or a sprained ankle and I am looking underneath...to see if there is another story. One of emotional turmoil, addiction, depression, pain. I believe God put me here to share the love He fills my heart with, with the broken people of the world. I take that task very seriously.
I sometimes wonder how I have anything left to give. Where I find the fortitude to get out of bed and give the very best of me to 40-50-60 of you a day. I think God gives me that too. Because the truth is I'm exhausted, and I am impatient, and I have a short fuse.
I do these things by choice. And I try really hard. I really want you to get better. I really want you to be at peace. I really want to help you. Because I really love you. I know...you shouldn't say that or even admit feeling it to people you don't know. But I love each of you, for who you are, where you're at, with the very best I have to offer. And I do it everyday. I do it for 10-12-17 day stretches sometimes, without a day off.
So, when you accuse me of being selfish and greedy because the corporation I work for insists that after a six month grace period, you pay your bill, that hurts. When you tell me I look at patients in terms of numbers and dollar signs, that bothers me. When you try to trick me into giving you vicodin that you will turn around and sell to high school kids, that will turn around and become abusive to me in the office, because I won't feed their habit it makes me angry.
When I come home from a 12 hour day of people being self absorbed, and rude, and accusatory, and I am exhausted to the point of tears, I feel like I didn't do a very good job today. Because of the way you responded to me, I don't want to come back, and be loving, and spend my evening worrying about you, and hurt over the pain in your eyes. I don't want to love you. I don't want to be filled with compassion. But I do it. Everyday. For you.
So the next time you think that your doctor doesn't care, or is treating you unfairly, or isn't giving you a week off of work under the guise of illness so you can go to Mexico and drink for seven days, remember something...I have your best interest at heart. And I am taking care of you, even when you don't want to take care of yourself. And I have bad days too, and I am still here, filled with compassion that drives me to give the very best of myself to you.
This isn't a rant about my hours, or a complaint about the uglier side of medicine. This is a gentle reminder that I, and most of the doctors, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants I know, really are trying and maybe, you could remember that instead of yelling, storming out, threatening a law suit, or standing in line at the grocery store and announcing the Dr. fill in the blank is a quack. Maybe you could remember that you aren't perfect and you aren't God either.
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