I often wonder: why am I a doctor?
The truth is, I want to live in the real world, a world without pretense, a world where people can’t hide behind money or status.
Illness uncovers our authenticity. Doctoring satiates my need to be witnessed and to witness the raw, uncensored human experience. I crave intensity.
Like an emotional bungee jumper, I live to inhale the last words of a dying man, to hear 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, 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 good-bye one last time.
I am 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 tomorrow and do it all again.
Maybe doctoring fills a hole, a void. I doctor for connection, to be needed—to be loved.
(Excerpt from Pet Goats & Pap Smears)