Yet another comment has fueled some need to post within me. Essentially the comments from my last discourse were interesting. Receiving a hint of disdain for my belief that a medical career is just a...gasp... J.O.B. I wanted to touch a little more on what makes my day (and maybe not disdain, but a certain level of disbelief that a medical student didn’t want to put medicine first was clearly evident).
The other night I was in Daughter’s bedroom, reading a couple bedtime stories to her. While I was leaning against her bed reading, she lovingly placed her head on my shoulders, stroked my hair, and kissed me several times on the head. After I finished she rolled over and said sleepily: “I love you Daddy”. My heart melted.
This happens on a regular basis when I’m home. I have memories that make me smile, laugh, and occasionally make me sad. I relish them, but realize that almost all of them are from the 3rd and 4th years, where, after spending most of my time in the school studying during the first couple years, I decided that I needed to spend a lot more time at home. I’ve done well throughout, but I certainly have more fond recollections of my times at home than freaking out over some quiz or test.
Now this being said, let me explain that at the same time I have always been committed to the patients I’ve worked with. I read a lot at home, about diagnoses and treatment plans that related to diseases I’ve seen or will see the next day, and never abandoned my duties in order to get home sooner. However, I do not have a great deal of memories from the hospital that would make me want to replace anytime spent with the wife and kids. I’m sorry, but patients just don’t fill a need in me the way my family does.
Other physicians and medical students may find that they have no better times than being in the hospital. While I applaud them and thank them for their dedication, I feel sorry for those who sacrifice their family life in order to obtain this satisfaction. I won’t state that I feel certain careers shouldn’t have families involved, but I think they’re more apt to be strained and the relationships more miserable regardless of the persona involved. I didn’t want that…that’s where my decision came into place that ultimately steered me away from a surgical career and into the anesthesia field. Others may decide that medicine is their priority and they’ll sacrifice everything else towards that end. So be it.
Yet, despite my understanding that some people love being at work, I find the most pleasure, solace, and love when I’m home, not amongst the sick. My favorite place in the world is not in the hospital, that in and of itself is proof enough that a career as a surgeon should not be attempted, but with my family. A quote I heard during interviews described my situation perfectly:
“If your favorite place in the hospital is the OR, then anesthesia is the right path for you; if your favorite place in the world is the OR, then be a surgeon.”