The chronicle of a lonely do-gooder family doctor who survived.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Family Doctor Manifesto



Here's something I wrote somewhere on the Inter-hoo after a day that was too damn long. I don't even remember what it was the got me ranting so hard.

Here's the deal. I'm a motherfucking family doctor. I am a leader in the community in which I live. People come to me for medical care when they are in moments of crisis in their lives. I prescribe the pills, but more importantly, I provide the comfort, the wisdom, and the support they need to weather the crisis. I make a human connection in 15 minutes, whether you are an airline pilot, a grocery store clerk, a college student that smokes too much pot, or a delusional homeless person that thinks all white people except me are out to get you. I am the grease that eliminates the grinding of the gears of society. I am the person that can make a multimillionaire neurosurgeon see the reason why he/she should donate their time to help a struggling addict with a risky surgery because I believe with enough support this person has value and can be better. I am not a technician, I am an artist who practices with the whole of the heart every day, 24 hours a day. I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I'm the person who treats your drug addiction and mental illness and realizes the greatest proof of your struggle is the fact that your daughter is thriving in her freshman year in college. I delivered your baby and understood that those first few hours when I was writing orders at the hospital afterward were the most important hours of your life. I skewed the results of your Montreal Cognitive Assessment so that you were excused from a citizenship test you'd never pass so you could stay here with your children and grandchildren because I know you and I've seen you at the park and our children have played together, and you are welcome with me in my community regardless of how you arrived here. Of course I'll spend some time with you right now because I see that this is important, but if I can't spend time with you right now, I'll find the right words to convey that I understand and I know I should spend time with you but I can't because there is a world of need competing for my time, but you are still important. I am a family doctor and I walk down the street in my neighborhood and homeless people, firemen, shop owners, and software executives talk to me because I am the glue that binds all of these people together. And I proudly carry my children with me to watch and understand the power of human connection and because I am oh so proud of them.

There is one president who did things to help me maintain my position in my community and there is one president who is threatening my ability to continue to do this. I don't know if I can withstand the assaults on my job, but I will never succumb to practicing for money, or medical tourism, or to being a well paid technician.

This is what I've always wanted to be. And, yes, I am full of myself, aren't we all?

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