24.3.09

Day 171. The Doctor Ones.

Many of you know my mother is a breast cancer survivor. Many of you may also know someone who has been touched by this disease. Right after her diagnosis she had surgery and then a protocol of chemotherapy. The two doctors she chose to work with, Dr. F. and Dr. S.,  remain in touch with our family today and have proven to be really lovely people. 

What amazes me about these two, and, quite frankly, about doctors in general, is whatever it is in them to accept their jobs. I think its safe to say that the majority of doctors are rather smart cookies. Its also fairly easy to state that to become a doctor requires dedication, a quest for excellence, a strong ego ;) and unimaginable focus. By the time you actually become a doctor you spent umpteen thousands of dollars on your education and sometimes decades of your life in study. The commitment to become what you dream is amazingly huge.

Then, once you ARE a doctor, THEN it gets hard. I remember our surgeon coming to tell my dad and I that the diagnosis was worse than we had hoped. How do you steel yourself as a human being to deliver that kind of news all day? How do you rise above knowing that kind of news and then approaching your next patient with total confidence and optimism and a belief that you can "fix it"?  I remember our oncologist - visiting with us before each chemo treatment - and him having to tell my mom that they still don't know the answers to many questions about the future of the disease. I remember seeing him again after the recent loss of a dear friend that he had treated. How do you "fail" and then rise up again to tackle the same seemingly unsolvable problem?

And let's not forget about that whole perfection thing. We expect our doctors to be perfect. Seriously. We expect them to know everything, anticipate everything and overlook nothing so that they can fix us. When you really think about it - its ridiculous. Noone can achieve that standard.

I know that every night "our" two doctors return home to their families after treating more patients every day. I stand in awe of them being able to be strong enough to know that failure and risk is a certainty in their every day existence. I cannot comprehend how these men (and all doctors) can not lose their humanity with what they need to see and say every day. Dr. F. and Dr. S. symbolize every doctor to me, and to ALL doctors who work to keep us healthy, I salute you.


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