Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy National Doctors' Day



It's National Doctors' Day today.

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about doctors.
We have often thought about writing a post about them.

It's a grueling job - mentally, physically, and emotionally.
It's often a thankless profession.

The word "Doctor" can evoke
looks of respect
or looks of disdain.

The common social supposition for many
when they find out that someone is a doctor
is to automatically assume that that person
is extremely wealthy
(or, in some cases, that they want to see their rash).

It's a scary job --
they pretty much terrify you in med school
about the possibility of getting sued.

And it takes many, many, many years
of education and loans and work and debt
to become a doctor.

It can also a rewarding job--
people tend to be very grateful for helping them
(if they're not blaming you for hurting them).

See, I think the TV show Scrubs
really captured it best -- it's a total mix
of both hard and wonderful emotions.

We have countless stories from our own experiences
with med school, residency, and post-residency life --
grueling stories about the journey itself,
amazing stories about healing,
sad stories about hurts and heartaches,
heart warming stories about kindness,
funny stories about patients of all kinds.

9 years ago today,
a physician performed open heart surgery on my Dad.
It was one of the scariest
and most difficult days of my life
as my father teetered on the edge
of life and death.

Thankfully, he lived so we could enjoy 5 1/2 more years
with him here with us.

I know first hand, as the wife of a physician,
it's not one bit an easy path.

It's one of those things that you simply don't understand
unless you've been there yourself --
that goes for the physician's spouse as well as the physician,
as many of our friends can attest.

I cannot begin to list the hours of work and study
that Mark has put in to get to where he is
and I cannot begin to list the hours he puts in now that he's there.

The years of work and debt involved
make you question and second guess its worth.

I know that often there are many other things
he'd probably rather be doing,
but I know that he also enjoys what he does.

And either way, I know he does it all for us.
The beautiful life we have for our family
is what it is in large part because of Mark's hard work
and love for us.

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So, today, on National Doctors' Day,
I want to pay tribute to my favorite doctor
in the whole world.

Because I know there are times he wonders
about having chosen this profession.

Because I know we often question this career path.

Because I know we often stress
about our student loans to get here.

Because I know we often talk about
the overhead we pay to even have
the privilege of working as a doctor.

But I also know that we wouldn't have the
freedom, flexibility, and time together
that we have if it weren't for this path.

I know that this is part of our journey as a family
and that it shapes us in many ways.

I know that he is wonderful at what he does.

I know that he has the courage to take a different path
than what's expected and carve out our own way in this.

I know that he has the smarts and creativity necessary
to run our own clinic and his own consulting practice.

I know that he has the work ethic to pick up
extra moonlighting gigs to help us in our financial goals.

I know that he has the balance to enjoy what he does
but always put our family first.

I know that he's a pro at managing his work
so that we don't ever feel slighted as a family.

And I know that his courage to think outside the box
is what has made so much difference
in our living authentically and congruently
with who we are as individuals and as a family.

I know that even with the recognition, honors, and praise
he receives from the community, patients, and colleagues,
he probably doesn't get enough thank yous
and kudos for the work he does.

So, happy National Doctors' Day!

And, thank you, Sweetie, for everything.

4 comments:

Dr. Mark said...

Thank you, Little Miss. Your post means a lot. You get me like no one else does and that makes it easier to do what I do every day. I love you!

kristenhcubed said...

How sweet. You're a lucky man, Dr. Mark. I didn't even know there was such a day. I'll have to bake Nathan a cake!

Mom said...

Sorry I didn't know it was National Doctors' Day yesterday. I could have told Dr Mark how proud I am of him. "My son the doctor... Oh, wait! nothing is stopping me from saying it today. Proud of you, son.

Lindsay said...

What a cool post! It was cool to see where you have your practice and that you guys have created it yourself. Thanks for "manipulating" (cracking) my neck when I was out there. Ha