is one of the finest doctors that I know and he has built a fantastic career in medicine. Richard is also a neighbor of mine and someone who I have had the great pleasure of conversing with about a huge range of subjects. Society views doctors like Ricard with a huge amount of respect, as well as certain levels of expectancy when it comes to our own medical issues. What most of us don’t see however is the personal struggles which every doctor goes through in order to make their career a success. I have spoken to Richard many times about his own experience and that of his colleagues, and here are some of the challenges which they face.
Doctors work an extraordinary number of hours and that comes with a huge amount of personal sacrifice. Divorce rates amongst doctors are very high because they don’t spend time at home, they miss birthdays, weddings and parties, they miss important moments in their children’s lives and they miss out just about any personal time which they may have. They do this because of their passion for medicine and to care for their patients, a great sacrifice indeed.
Many of us believe that doctors don’t get attached to their patients and that they simply treat the human body in the same way that a mechanic would treat a car. To some extent this is true but the reality is that spending your days seeing gruesome sights and witnessing the heartbreak of death is not something which they can simply brush off. We have to remember that doctors are not robots, they do have feelings and often they will be emotionally damaged by something which has happened in their job. Imagine if you were a doctor with kids and you see a parent’s anguish watching their own child die, how would that make you feel? Doctors are human, they feel and they hurt and whilst they may have thicker skin than the rest of us, it is not made of teflon.
Pressure of Mistakes
Mistakes happen in almost every job, the difference with a doctor making a mistake is that it could potentially cost someone their life. The pressure of this is absolutely massive and doctors have to try their best to ignore the pressure of a potential mistake. Failure to be able to work under this pressure could lead to a higher chance of making mistakes, which is why staying cool and calm is something which doctors always focus on. Working well under this pressure is one thing but when they walk away from the job, they will still feel the effects of that pressure, which is why many doctors have stress issues. Doctors must find a way to relieve the stress which they are working under, which is not always easy.
These men and women do amazing work for us all, we must remember that they too are facing up to some serious personal challenges.