A letter from a physician to his father

I want to sincerely thank you from the depths of my heart. I don’t show it, and I certainly don’t say it, but you have always been my role model. You positively shape who I am as a man, and your staunch encouragement is invaluable to me.

In a world of words, texts and tweets, you have let your actions speak. You have remained apolitical and areligious, choosing to focus your allegiance towards what you know is good: medicine and your family. In my not-so-young age, I feel constantly swayed by trends, which is a stark contrast to your 30 years at one hospital. You gave medicine the best years of your life; brushing off the sacrifices that you made daily. You woke up insanely early, stayed late, and took overnight calls because you cared. With threats from policies, protocols, and technology, many physicians of your era became jaded. As I enter the rigors of residency myself, I am hopeful because I have witnessed your passion withstand the entirety of a successful medical career.

I remember having a hard time picking a college, and you were of no help. You also did not opine in my indecision for a major, a career path, nor for a medical specialty. Your abstention allowed me to make my own decisions, all with the trampoline of your support beneath me. You traveled long and far to watch my (boring) football games, you were at my graduation(s), and you constantly remind me how cool it is to be “make someone better.” When I do ask for advice, you say…“do the hardest thing, because that will make you better in the end.” I have lived by your advice, and I have learned to appreciate hard work and all of the blessings given to me in my life.

So Dad, although I won’t be around for the next three years, you will be with me in the ER. When I see that drunk, smelly dude for who just wants morphine, I will brush off my sacrifices, just as you have always done, to do any and everything I can for a person in need. When I have to get up at 6 a.m. for a shift after sleeping just 4 hours, I will remember that you would have already been through rounds. When I prescribe Zosyn, I will hear your voice, preaching of its power. Like you, I will always hold the beauty of medicine in high regard, realizing how special it is to help others.

“Fevr Doc” is an emergency medicine resident who blogs at his self-titled site, fevr doc.

Image credit: Shutterstock.com

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