Monday, July 03, 2006

On Being a Doctor

"As you learn to become a doctor, there is a frequent sense of surprise, a feeling that you are not entitled to the kind of intrusion you are allowed into patients' lives. Without arguing, they permit you to examine them; it is impossible to imagine, when you do your very first physical exam, that someday you will walk in calmly and tell a man your grandfather's age to undress, and then examine him without thinking about it twice. You get used to it all, but every so often you find yourself marveling at the access you are allowed, at the way you are learning from their bodies, the stories, the lives and deaths of perfect strangers. They give up their privacy in exchange for some hope - sometimes strong, sometimes faint - of the alleviation of pain, the curing of disease. And gradually, with medical training, that feeling of amazement, that feeling that you are not entitled, scars over. You begin to identify more thoroughly with the medical profession - of course you are entitled to see everything and know everything; you're a doctor, aren't you? And as you accept this as your right, you move further from your patients, even as you penetrate more meticulously and more confidently into their lives." - Perri Klass, M.D.

3 Comments:

Blogger Sujatha said...

Hi KK, doing my rounds (pun intended :)) after a while. Feels good to be reading your blog.

10:06 AM  
Blogger karrvakarela said...

Thanks. Glad you enjoyed it.

10:11 AM  
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12:25 AM  

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