Oh, so many things to choose from today. Swine flu, high maintenance/obsessive parents…but alas, I’ll save those for a later post. Today, I have got to get something off of my chest. Or maybe two things, since I just noticed I have something crusty on my sweatshirt.
Anyway, as many of you know, my husband is currently working his butt off as a medical resident. For those of you who are not familiar with the “road” to becoming a doctor, let me get you up to speed so you have an idea of where we are in this process.
First there are four years of college, next four years of medical school, then this lovely place where we are called residency. These can range anywhere from around 3 to 7 years. That’s right, this is all after completing four years of college and four years of medical school. Right now, we are in year 2 of a 3 year residency. After residency, my husband will start his fellowship, which is another 3 years in which he can specialize. He is hoping to do Hematology/Oncology. At any rate, totaling up the years that he has spent working towards this goal of finishing his training, we are talking about 10 years- AFTER COLLEGE!!
What this means is that while many of our friends started their career jobs just after graduation, we started on this path which some days feels like it goes on forever. We’ve seen friends buy homes, settle down, enjoy the freedom of two incomes, 60 and under hour work weeks and the like. I don’t want you to hear that I have any regrets about our path, because I don’t. We made this decision together and I am 100% behind the process and think that my dear husband will be one of the finest doctors ever. I just wanted to give you a little bit better idea of what it takes to become a doctor.
Back to the blog title, “Here’s a quarter.” I continue to find it odd how often people come and complain to me about doctors. These complaints are not even usually doctor specific, but rather generalized disdain for those who are associated with the profession. What I don’t understand is how they think I will at all agree, nod along, or listen quietly to their rants. I am all about hearing a friend share about a hard time or personal experience, but going on and on about how terrible all doctors are…are you freakin’ kidding me? Three of the men I love and admire most in this world are doctors. My grandpa, dad and now my husband. And, they are three of the most honorable, loving, and kind men I know. They are just, they love their patients, and THEY WORK THEIR BUTTS OFF. Do I think all doctors are as fabulous as this trio, of course not. In each and every profession there are the good eggs and the bad eggs. I just don’t ever see anyone calling all chefs “corrupt” after getting food poisoning from bad sushi.
What I’m trying to say, as politely as possible, is to take your anti-doctor comments elsewhere. Unless that is you would like me to make bold sweeping statements about your husband and his colleagues? If your doctor sucks, get another one. If you think you are being blown off by your provider, go elsewhere, or reconsider whether your child’s clear drippy nose is really swine flu. What I can tell you is that I’m done and cannot promise that I will be civil when the next train wrecks in my presence. So, prepare yourselves, you’ve been warned.
People make mistakes. And those people include your mechanic, plumber, professors, accountants, hairdresser (you know you are hating your new cut right now), midwife, or cable guy. Just like them, doctors are people too and unfortunately their job involves more than whether or not you look cute. They will make mistakes, they are human, not God. Give them some grace and know that they are trying, and working hard, and learning each day. No two people are the same and no two doctors are either. Remember that. If you end up with one of the bad ones, run like hell. Educate yourself and assert yourself. Honestly, it’s okay to shop around and find the provider that is a good fit for you. It’s expected. So, don’t settle.
And remember, next time you start to complain, how many mistakes you make at your job everyday. Thank God you don’t have to be perfect and pray for those who are expected to be.