Medicine is a business. Of course we have bills to pay to keep the lights on and the phones running. No, as a rule, doctors are not starving. But if money were what we were out for, we sure wouldn’t have opted for seven (or more) grueling years of training followed by the 24/7 call of solo private practice. No; we’re in it for our patients. Aside from the still small voice that tells us when we’ve done well, there are those wonderful times when we get to hear our patients say it explicitly.
A recent email:
…I just wanted you to know that both the care and kindness you provided to me throughout my life really did influence me. I have recently completed my residency in veterinary ECC [Emergency and Critical Care] and know that although I occasionally do some “bad ass” things from day to day, I will never have the influence or trust that general practitioners have with their patients (or in vet med-clients). Thinking of what you have provided to me and my mother and even a now ex-boyfriend, offers a perspective as to why when scared clients fall back to their family vets over the emergency docs.
Having finished my residency, I am now attempting to find work-life balance, but it is not easy. I am inspired by your family, practice, and ability to write on top of all of that. Thank you for being a wonderful example. I don’t know if I will see you again [now that I’m living in another state] but wanted to say THANK YOU.
And that’s why we do it.
(shared with permission)