The photo circulating around the internet, that one of the doctor crouched down outside reportedly weighed down by the grief of losing a patient…
I swear I have seen that photo somewhere before. Years ago. Maybe it is just because I relate. Maybe I saw something like it involving another physician. Dunno.
I am glad that this is out there but to be honest it has bothered me on some level that it took a photo to get people to talk about doctors caring.
Yes, we do feel.
Sure, you don’t see that as a patient. In a crisis you don’t want your doctor breaking down, overcome with emotion. We push it back, bury it. We have to so we can do our job.
Then afterwards, we have guilt. We weren’t good enough. What right do we have to something so selfish as our own grief? That was not our family member.
And so we go on. And on. And on.
Our families don’t understand.
Our friends do not understand.
And our colleagues are too busy or too burdened themselves to share our load…
It’s what we signed up for, though. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. So we might indulge, give ourselves a minute or two out in the cool night air, or maybe not. We shake it off and keep going and pray that it does not take our soul in the end.
I hear from people here and in my real life how generally awful doctors are, how I must be so unique. I don’t believe it. I am not special. There are so many out there who care, who give their lives to this profession.
We all have different personalities. Patients have different personalities. Diversity is good. Some like a touchy-feely emotional doctor. Some like the reticent, to the point type. Maybe they want something somewhere in between. I have been both cussed out and complimented for being so “perky”. No single person can be all things to all people.
Are we all perfect? No. Do we have bad days? Yes. I certainly do from time to time. Are there bad doctors? Sure. Do good doctors do bad things? Absolutely. We would all be fools to think otherwise.
So in the end, what am I trying to say? Our humanity makes us vulnerable to imperfection even as people are searching for our perfection. Keep your heart and mind open. Look for the light instead of the dark. It is there, I promise.