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The best career...and the worst.

Posted February 11, 2016 at 12:52 PM by Shalafi

Most of you know what I do for a living, and for those who don't...I am a Family Doc.

I have now been in practice for 16 years, and at my current clinic for 12. Why is this relevant. Well I have been reflecting as of late, particularly on my career, and the good and the bad.

The good: People allow me to assist them with the important things in their lives. I help them through loss, I help them through emotional and physical hardship and turmoil.

Occasionally I save some one.

The bad: I grow attached to people. Now, of course, this is not truly a bad thing...it is also part of the draw of medicine. However, it is taxing on one's own soul.

Case in point. I recently lost a patient to metestatic oral cancer. This person had been in my practice for nearly the full 12 years I have been in my current clinic. I had seen the person through many a trial before the cancer, and had helped them through it (the CA) as well.

It almost broke me. When I heard, my heart sank. Th person had become such a part of my life, and then, in an instant, he/she was gone. I would never share a joke, or share a moment of joy (or sorrow) with them any more. I hope it does not mean I become too attached to my patients, to say that I miss the person...

I am sure most of you will read this and wonder why I felt the need to share.

Sometimes you just need to vent, or express your discontent. This was one such occasion.


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  1. Old Comment
    I'm sorry for the loss Shalafi and my condolences to you and the family of the person. I think this shows that you are one of the good family doctors out there. I've never felt a connection to any of mine save for mine when I was a child. This could be because I rarely go to the doctors or that there are so few here in New Brunswick...but this isn't about me. I think we need more Doctors like you, ones that get attached to their patients and don't see them as a time slot.

    You are a great person

    All the best.
    Posted February 11, 2016 at 06:18 PM by Kutsa Cherhc Kutsa Cherhc is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Aerys Nardaquilli's Avatar
    I think it is part of the profession. Just like how a salesman builds up good and sometimes even friendly-personal relationships, so to does a doctor build up relationships with his patients. You have my sympathies for your loss, for I think it was not just a patient you lost, but someone who over time became your friend.
    Posted February 13, 2016 at 08:41 PM by Aerys Nardaquilli Aerys Nardaquilli is offline
  3. Old Comment
    My husband's doctor (GP we call them over here) cried when he died. He came to his funeral and he wrote a beautiful tribute to him for the funeral. The fact that someone medical cared so very much made me feel better. I still have the card from the flowers he sent - because sometimes people make a difference to you, it said.

    It was as true for him to my hubby as for my hubby to him. Don't ever worry about being attached. Be worried about not being..... Because that person was more than just q condition - more than a case of leukaemia or the oral cancer.

    But what you leave behind is the understanding that my most wonderful person was a real person, even to those treating him. That meant, and ten years later still means, more than I can tell you.

    Don't stop caring. If you ever do? That's the time to reconsider your job xxxxxxxxxx
    Posted February 14, 2016 at 08:44 PM by Hay'aan Malinconico Hay'aan Malinconico is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Lyr Tlansson's Avatar
    Sorry to hear that, Shal ~ it's sometimes very difficult to care, but it's what matters the most, no? And I can imagine that you have to deal with a lot of vulnerability as a family doc, which has got to be hard. Best wishes.
    Posted February 16, 2016 at 04:20 PM by Lyr Tlansson Lyr Tlansson is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Kailin Alyxanda's Avatar
    I can definitely relate to that...


    And I've seen my dad in tears more than once over a patient who passed away... some from "old age" and some lost too early. I think it makes him the amazing family physician that he is, and that it's a big part of why his patients love him so much. They're like family to him, and he's seen many of those families through multiple generations now.

    I get the feeling that you're a great doc, too, Shal. Sorry for your loss.
    Posted February 18, 2016 at 06:32 AM by Kailin Alyxanda Kailin Alyxanda is offline

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