Saturday, March 24, 2012

Privilege, I guess

I've thankfully found a job for my life after residency. If I have to work as a pediatrician (as opposed to part time baker, masked magician, or full time world-explorer), it seems like a very good fit for me. Details and stories in another post. I think I'm excited about it.

That being said, it's been a heartbreaking few weeks in the children's hospital where I am now. I've questioned whether this career is one that I'm meant for. (I still think daily about a particular baby I cared for almost three years ago. And, I know there are three little girls I've met this month that I will also think about daily forever). On television, the doctors usually seem to know what to say and do in almost all situations. It's considered touching if they shed a few tears. In this real life, there are often no words, or what happens is befuddling and the next step isn't clear. Tears aren't dainty. They come with snot and a red face and a lack of composure that persists beyond the appropriate moment. I learned this twice the hard way as an intern, and now they are kept at bay.

Last night on call, after a rough few hours, a patient thanked me. I had such mixed feelings as I said good night to her, as I had done so very very very little for her.

This is what has been on my mind as I perused the usual blogs and websites and watched a replay of Dancing with the Stars (and envied the jobs of the professional dancers as well). In a post covering many topics at , Rubin seemingly randomly says, " . . . being a doctor is a rare privilege . . ." It caught me. Postcall perspective.

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