Saturday, September 22, 2012

Superman's Burden

I mean, your like superman.  You fly into the room with your white lab coat.  You might not bend steel, but you do something more important.  You save lives.  I wish I could do for a living what you do.

Superman. Hmm.  I guess it's been so long I forgot.  It use to feel like that!

Use to?  What happened?  Are you no longer a doctor?  You're a hero in my eyes.  There are so many people who wander around this planet aimlessly.  They bounce from job to job, firm to firm, and year after year they toil without making a shred of difference.  They touch not one life.  Their footprint is wiped away the minute they take the next step. 

It's funny how it stops feeling that way.  Sure, the first time you help someone, the first time you save a life there is a certain rush.  But you finish medical school and enter residency, and that rush disappears.  You may help hundreds, but it no longer feels special or different.  It just feels like your job.

Yet you become acutely aware of those times when you can't help, when your skills are not enough.  You suffer through every failure.  You remember every death until the day comes when there are so many that you can't possibly hold on any longer.  And then you forget.  The worst part is when a name disappears and all you have left is a face imprinted in the depths of your subconscious.

You don't blame yourself, do you?  You try your best.  What else can be expected of you?

The funny thing is that even superman doesn't feel like superman all the time.  I bet sometimes he wishes he were batman or wonder woman.  Sometimes he feels that there is a pile of kryptonite waiting around every corner.

And sometimes, he finds that helping an old lady cross the street is a heck of a lot more gratifying,

than the death defying acts of bravery that everybody expects of him.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think any Doctor should blame themselves or feel guilty when someone dies. IN my case I know I certainly wouldn't want that for any Dr. that has ever treated me. When it comes right down to it I alone have caused much of my medical issues. I haven't eaten right, I developed horrible sleeping habits, I smoked for to many years before quitting and I carried around to much weight for about 20 years. My Doctors can only do the best they can do with what I have given them to work with. I understand and get that. I hope they know that I do.