Being a doctor is hard. Working in a public hospital is really hard. The basis of the job is to help and care for the patients. Without patients, there’d be no job for the doctor. That’s why patients matter. That’s why patients are important. That’s why we do what we can to help them feel better. The patient comes first.
The patient comes first. That’s why we make sacrifices: meals, sleep, and, for some people, time with family. We rush about our days and we think about our patients even when we’re home. Why? Because patients matter. Hospitals aren’t cool. Not for the patient, not for the doctor. It’s never comfortable to be an in-patient, we understand that.
But sometimes, it would seem that many many people don’t know this. They probably don’t. There are a number of people who spend countless hours moaning, groaning and complaining about the lack of care some doctors offer. What if that doctor you’re complaining about hasn’t slept in 30 hours, skipped 2 meals in the last 36 hours and a mere few hours with her husband and son in 5 days? This may not always be the case but it does happen.
Then there are the patients that make you feel like you made a good career choice.
I was on call on the second day of work. I still frequently got lost in the hospital which led to persistent frustration. It was coming close to midnight when I was called to resite a patient’s IV. Once I was done with the procedure, she told me something that made 15 hours of frustration melt away. It was so ridiculously simple: “I can tell that you genuinely like what you do. I like that. Thank you.”