The past years have been quite the journey & have taken me to some incredibly high and low places, both professionally & personally. I owe quite a bit of that ride to doctors.
So on this National Doctor’s Day, I would like to thank the many doctors I’ve been privileged to know & be cared for by, volunteered with, & worked along side of. As well as those I have come to know as people.
There are so many to list. I’m not sure who would appreciate being acknowledged & who would rather not so I’m keeping this thank you very general.
A select few (& they know who they are) have pulled my butt out of a bad jam more than once (even from the reach of death a few times), this fact is not lost on me.
Others have been valued sounding boards. Others have been staunch friends & cheerleaders along my journey. Their support has helped me make better choices & at times a better leader & advocate.
It was because of working with doctors professionally for several years, I came to see their human side.
Many of us lose sight of this & their talents & gifts to the world outside medicine. It’s a shame that happens.
Some have been in similar positions with critical health concerns & they continue to tirelessly advocate for those knowing full well the weight of that advocacy both emotionally & physically.
Others value my smarts & commitment to research & have gladly fostered that when opportunities have arisen. They have treated me as a curious mind & not a pest, giving of their time to make their findings & research relatable.
Some have been there in dark vulnerable moments, looking me in the eye, giving me flashes of hope & even an occasional hug in times when I thought there was little to hope for. They were unafraid to shed a tear with me or let me shed one in a quiet moment of frustration.
A few will no doubt save my life in a few short months but have worked to build a trusting & open relationship these past years before any of my current situation came to pass. They have encouraged me to be my authentic self in times where I wondered if I could because I might have seen it as a sign of weakness to do so.
Others I laugh, share jokes, art, & other geeky interests with.
To them I’m just an interesting person with ideas & a person worth getting to know. People need to feel that too sometimes.
That patient label dies hard, but it’s not always the sum total of who we are as people, just like an occupation is not the sum total of a person either.
My first neurologist I credit for giving my family a reason to hope when the medical textbooks at the time said there wasn’t much to hope for. When awareness wasn’t there.
He’d set the benchmark for all the great doctors I’d encounter over time.
I will never forget their kindness helping me along this journey at various points of my life.
To the brilliant NP’s & PA’s who stand fast in the gaps where docs are scarce (especially in rural America), or work alongside these trusted docs in tandem, I count you here as well. The lifelines you provide are equally important.
To the future doctors I’ve crossed paths with – you count too. My hope is that you will bring your gifts to medicine along with your compassion & empathy. Too many need them.
To all of you mentioned here: thanks is never quite enough, yet it’s the most fitting.