Jan 22, 2010

Don't Forget Yet! (Friday Links)

In the comments on the last post Old MD Girl rightly pointed out: It is our job to care.


She's right.

Last week's Friday Links was dedicated to the humanitarian response after the earthquake in Haiti. That disaster awakened the sympathy and generosity of the world, but the news cycle moves on. Each day the updates on Port-au-Prince get shorter and shorter until in a week or two you won't hear any more at all. We might just assume everything is better. The fact is that our neighbor Haiti was a humanitarian disaster even before quake. "Port-au-Prince, on a good day, looks semi-destroyed."

It is our job to care, but we often forget.

So for this week's Friday Links I give you: Doctor John Carroll and his wife Maria.

Doctor Carroll is twice the physician I am. He is an ER doctor in Illinois who has been going to Haiti for 15 years and finding children with life threatening congenital heart conditions that he brings to the US for surgery. Johh and Maria have an organization named Haitian Hearts that it appears they run completely by themselves. They have saved thousands of lives. They were in Haiti before the quake and will be there after.

Doctor D once met John Carroll, long ago when D was a college student. John Carroll sat down with young D and spoke to him about caring for patients. He was the first doctor that D ever met that he wanted to be like. After meeting John Carroll, D went home and signed up for the MCAT.

Well, I'm a doctor now, but unfortunately I'm still nowhere near the kind of person that John Carroll is.

Finding John's blog Dying in Haiti and Maria's blog Live from Haiti has been a breath of fresh air for Doctor D. Sometimes I forget why I chose this profession. My caring gets worn out and jaded. The Carrolls are a constant reminder of medicine at it's best. The Carrolls' stories of their work and their patients are inspiring. John's bravery and his uncompromising stand for his patients just might be infectious.

Seriously, you should subscribe to these blogs. Don't forget those who are suffering, and for those of us that work in healthcare don't forget why we do this.
John Carroll is a real hero for Doctor D. I might not be an MD if it weren't for him. Do any of you other healthcare worker have heroes like this? I would love to hear about them in the comments.

5 comments:

A Doc 2 Be said...

Thank you for pointing out their blogs. Too often, we (I) get caught up in our own drama and forget what "real" drama is all about.

Now, if I were only a few steps closer to being able to "really" help instead of clicking a button, transferring a few bucks, and saying a prayer of hope for these people.

Thankfully, we in the US will never really have to know what the conditions are like in Haiti. As I say with the Philippines, there is poor, there is dirt poor, and then there are these people.

Great post!

Cate said...

Wow, great blogs- very inspirational.

StorytellERdoc said...

great post...thank you for helping us keep our priorities in line.

Old MD Girl said...

Very inspirational. I have to say that when I first heard about the earthquake in Haiti I thought to myself that I wished I could do something concrete about it. As a med student, I'm still pretty worthless alas. Maybe in the future.....

queenofoptimism said...

Thank you for giving us a more vivid picture of Haiti - its people, its needs, and its heroes.

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