Twenty-seven years. More than a quarter of a century. Maybe not much in terms of a tree, but rather a long time.
Time for a babe in arms to reach adulthood, complete with a condo, live-in girlfriend, three cats, and a PhD within spitting distance.
Time for a medical practice to begin, grow, expand, and contract again until it is just the right size for a solo dinosaur.
Twenty-seven years ago today I hung out my shingle in front of a tiny basement office. I saw three patients that first day but only three more the rest of the week. I’ve had my ups and downs; overall, more of the former than the latter. Paper charts have turned electronic. Guidelines have come and gone. We’ve stopped prescribing antibiotics for bronchitis but begun using them for stomach ulcers. Open heart surgery for coronary artery disease has given way (about 90%) to balloons and stents. Too many other changes to catalogue on the spur of the moment.
And yet so much has stayed the same. Parents of newborns are no less terrified at the awesome responsibility of a tiny human. Pain, fear, grief, loneliness, and anguish haven’t changed. People who are hurting darken my door, and I consider it a victory to lessen their load, however slightly.
It’s been a helluva ride. And the best part is that it’s not over. Far from.
Twenty-seven years, and I’m still having fun. What more could anyone ask?