I often wonder: Why am I a doctor?
Maybe I want to live in the real world, a world without pretense, a world where people can’t hide behind money or status. Illness exposes our authenticity. And doctoring satiates my need to be witnessed and to witness the raw, uncensored human experience. I crave intensity. It’s an addiction.
Like an emotional bungee jumper, I live to inhale the last words of a dying man, the first cry of a newborn baby, to feel the slippery soft skin in my hands, to cut the cord and watch a drop of blood fall on my shoe. And to wipe a new mother’s tears, to introduce a father to his son, to hold a daughter’s hand as she kisses her father goodbye one last time.
I’m a doctor because I refuse to be numb. I want to live on the precipice of the underworld, the afterworld, to look into patients’ eyes, to free-fall into an abyss of love, despair, death … and then wake up and do it all again tomorrow.
Maybe doctoring fills a hole, a void. I doctor for connection, to be needed ~ to be loved.