The end of a surreal week of highs and lows! In the end, I am a better person for having experienced the past week’s events. Still, I pray for my two critically ill friends and pray that I can keep my peace. The weather is cold; the sky is gray and snow will be coming in later this week. Snow is not my friend, something that always causes me to wonder why I continue to live in the Midwest. If not for my cozy townhouse, my chihuahua and a cup of hot tea, I would probably have left this area years ago. Seriously, the people here have kept me here though I miss the South and the Pacific Coast very much.
I pray for serenity and grace as I face the challenges ahead. I am finding my patience stretched thin but I have stopped to take a few breaths. I know that patience with my patients and students has always been one of my strongest characteristics. I know that I must allow my fellow humans to be human. I can move faster than many women my age thus I need to just say a prayer of gratitude. It’s never too late for me to learn something even at my advanced age. Hah, it’s fun to be an eccentric old professor.
So today, I dig in and get my last couple of exams written for my students with benevolence and care. I have given all that I can to help them achieve what they need to take care of patients but this is a new generation. This generation does not have the sense of professionalism and sacrifice that marked my generation. For me, it is a privilege to treat those who need my care without exception. For this generation, patient care is a job that they leave behind when they exit the hospital/clinic. This is change and I embrace change but the privilege of being a physician and patient advocate does not change for me.
Why am I “out of my league” these days? Largely in my mind this is because I am reluctant to accept or compromise my core values. I can live in the gray areas with my patients but I can’t live in the gray areas with my core values. My parents did a thorough job instilling a sense of duty and caring in me and my siblings. They came to this country for better opportunities and to leave the world better than they found it. This I strive to do but I frequently find that I am a lone voice. Thus, I take a deep breath and keep moving forward.