The blogs of health workers can be a fascinating peak into the minds and motivations of those of us in medical life. I enjoy the funny or amazing true stories on blogs as much as the next guy, but what's really interesting to me are the lives of people who choose to work with sickness and suffering every day.
Judging by the number of TV shows on us it appears that the public at large is fascinated with medical students, nurses, and doctors too. Truth be told, we aren't as good looking, dramatic, or perfect as our TV counterparts. We are normal people, but personally I prefer real people over stock characters with stethoscopes.
One of my favorite nurse bloggers, Maha, used the turn of the decade to tell the fascinating and personal story of her life over the last 10 years. Her personal growth during her journey to become an ER nurse is very interesting reading. Behind the sharp wit and toughness there is a humanity and sensitivity that makes her blog one of the best out there.
I found another glimpse into the personal motivations for a medical life over at Asystole Is The Most Stable Rhythm. Besides having the coolest blog name ever AlbinoBlackBear has some great stories. Her encounter with a dying child years ago as a nurse left her wondering if healthcare was a good choice for her. The answer was yes and now she is in medical school. Asystole is a wonderful med student blog and I can't believe it took me this long to find it.
So what leads people to choose a medical life?
Ella the med student and Old Girl both followed Maha's lead and posted their own biographies of 2000 to 2010. Doctor D shall follow in the footsteps of these great bloggers and give you a brief picture of how he has transformed over the last decade:
At the dawn of 2000 young D was a college senior applying for medical school. He was a bold, iconoclastic idealist who was certain he would save the world. Young D wore a long beard with long hair and was certain that human suffering was a puzzle that could be fixed if people just cared enough to help others. He figured that medicine was the highest and purest calling a person could choose for their life.
Then came reality: years of medical school, followed by years of residency, followed by the ultimate goal—being a "real doctor."
After a decade of ceaseless work I no longer think I am going to save the world. I have saved a few lives, but it was by doing my job not through any heroism. Jesus may save the world, but doctors and nurses certainly won't. We simply do our jobs day in and day out.
In the end, the medical life is a life like any other. It isn't always fun or sexy. We are not so brilliant or so heroic. We are humans who take care of humans, so our work is fraught all those troublesome human complications. Some days we love our vocation and some days we want to quit, but we do our best because we care about our patients.
In 2010 Doctor D is more tired and less idealistic. These days D is more more proud to be Ms. D's husband and Little D's dad than he is about that MD he spent so many years dreaming about.
What do you think? Did you imagine doctor's lives to be more heroic and dramatic? Do you work in healthcare and have a story about your own medical life to share? Doctor D always enjoys the perspectives and stories you tell in the comments.