I guess that I have always respected the medical profession but it wasn’t until I moved home that it really dawned on me just how much of our respect doctors deserve. I moved in next to a wonderful man David Crawford MD who has dedicated his life to medicine. David and I get on very well and over the years he has told me many stories about his time in the ‘trenches’ and the more that I have gotten to know him, and the tales of his colleagues, the more that I have realized just how much of our respect these men and women deserve. I know that this is a profession which they have chosen, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve the respect of everyone in society.
Something which I had no idea about until I began to get to know David was the massive divorce rate amongst doctors and their spouses. It seemed that every week he would be telling me about another colleague who had split up from their partner, and almost always this came down to the amount of work which they had to do, and how little they were at home. I have also heard many stories of parents who just can’t be there for their children because of their position. Doctors give up their own personal time so that we can enjoy ours.
Whist he has never completely opened up about it, something which I have come to recognize very well is the pain in my neighbor’s eyes after what must have been a tough day. We may only see doctors when they are in the hospital with their scrubs on, but we have to remember that behind those clothes there is a human who is not devoid of emotion, but who must hide that emotion away in order to do a good job. Those feelings can’t be repressed forever, and when they get home it all comes out.
Something which always surprises me is the abuse which many doctors get from their patients and the patient’s families. Now of course more of than not this is just frustration at their plight, which they take out on the nearest person, but in a job which is hard enough as it is, having people scream and shout is not very nice and there is absolutely no call for it.
The amount of times that doctors must cancel events and plans is incredible and David often tells me about colleagues of his who have had to cancel parties, best man duties, one even had to cancel her own honeymoon! Being a doctor never stops, and because they have sworn an oath they will always live up to it, unfortunately that very often means canceling on friends, family and completely changing plans at the drop of a hat.
As I say, they deserve all of our respect.