Monday, December 5, 2011

Worth It?

Saturday there was a doctor at the hospital.

At work at 6pm on a Saturday night. Looking tired, beaten down. Having a discussion with his wife on the phone. Deciding on pizza toppings. Not an argument, per se, but more thought and effort than it should have taken to decide against spinach.

They're both being noncommittal; she, knowing he's tired, not wanting to add more stress, he, just wishing that someone else would make a decision, just once.

They decide on cheese, pepperoni, and chicken and pineapple. I wonder how many kids are at home, waiting for their dad.

His light blue scrubs are wrinkled as he sits and dictates his report. There's a big sigh when he can't find the chart.

The huge stack of pre-made flashcards. To become board certified, just general surgery, he explains to the nurse. And this is just half of them.

"Well maybe that's why you look so tired."

He doesn't say anything, as there really isn't a response to this.

I watch him check something on his phone, wondering if it's worth it.

Do they pay him enough, to make up for the long, exhausting days? All that time away from your family?

And more than that--is it worth it?

Dedicating your career, your life, really, to helping other people. Learning and teaching and caring. Knowing that no matter how many times you run through those flashcards, you'll never know it all. You'll make a mistake, a costly one, at some point.

Is it worth it?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Oh, I wish I had some insight on that.

My gut tells me that if you are doing a job that is as meaningful as being a doctor, that more often than not - the answer is YES.