Now retired, I often reflect on having been a family physician for more
than 40 years. I ask myself what gave me the deepest fulfillment, what was
the meaning for my life. It's fun telling my new friends some of my "medical
stories." I soon realized I tell stories that always lead to a happy ending.
I supposed that's what my friends want to hear.
But do I tell them the stories that have meant the most to me? Probably
not. Yet these are the events that gave me the greatest feeling of being a
better person, and I believe a better physician, maybe for the very reason
they were not easy for me to face. Why are these stories hard to verbalize?
Did we do things for reasons we do not fully understand? Is this feeling common
to all of us working in the medical fields?
Orsinger WH. The Condition We Don't Discuss. JAMA. 2001;285(10):1265–1266. doi:10.1001/jama.285.10.1265
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