Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The long kiss goodnight

I've never actually seen the movie "The Long Kiss Goodnight," but for some reason I love the expression. This post is about goodbyes.

I am transitioning jobs. I am finishing up my time at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock, and in a few months will be starting a position at the University of Pittsburgh. A part of this process is saying goodbye to my patients in Little Rock.

Today, I had my last clinic visit with a few of my patients, several of whom I've grown quite close to. My job in Arkansas, as is the case for all jobs, has it's ups and downs, but one thing that was a clear positive for me was the patients.

One thing that physicians don't have an opportunity to do as often as we would like is let patients know how much they mean to us. That is one benefit of changing jobs- it gives me an excuse to explicitly thank them and let them know much they enriched my life.

There are many things about practicing medicine that are less than ideal, but still, there are very few professions that allow the privilege of having such a direct impact on another person's life. I suppose teaching, coaching, the clergy- those professions have some similar elements. And I guess that is part of what it means to be a physician- a little bit of education, a little bit of motivation, and a little bit of faith.

Anyway, in case any of my patients ever read this blog, and I didn't get a chance to say thank you personally- thanks!

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