Uncertainty and the Life of a Doctor
The life of a physician is full of uncertainties. With regard to diagnosing or treating a disease we know that illnesses by the same names are not the same in every patient and neither is there always the outcome we had expected on treatment. There are days, however, when everything goes as expected. We are please with ourselves and get the warm loving hug of a patient who is pleased with us and what we have accomplished. We have all experienced this. But then there is the day when we experience the cold sweat of personal concern: was the diagnosis correct? was the treatment the best? why did the patient die? We have all experienced this too.
Following on this theme is the poem "Doctor Meyers" by Edgar Lee Masters and located at AmericanPoems.com
No other man, unless it was Doc Hill,
Did more for people in this town than l.
And all the weak, the halt, the improvident
And those who could not pay flocked to me.
I was good-hearted, easy Doctor Meyers.
I was healthy, happy, in comfortable fortune,
Blest with a congenial mate, my children raised,
All wedded, doing well in the world.
And then one night, Minerva, the poetess,
Came to me in her trouble, crying.
I tried to help her out -- she died --
They indicted me, the newspapers disgraced me,
My wife perished of a broken heart.
And pneumonia finished me.
Yet, you know, our medical schools are still filled with students. There must be, despite the uncertanties of the medical profession, still something worthy to become a doctor. ..Maurice.