Friday, April 15, 2011


I don’t know if I can describe the feeling I have when I think back on my early years in medicine,… but I’ll try.

My internship and residency took place between the years of 1965 and 1971 and included 2 years in Uncle Sam’s navy. Medicine and the post graduate training programs were a lot different from current practices; as interns and residents we were given a great deal of responsibility where the “see one, do one, teach one” philosophy was the standard. Of course me and my fellow interns and residents thought of ourselves as the young Turks…able to handle anything, any time, that came our way. We did not shirk from the responsibilities of the procedures and crisis decisions we had to make; it was all considered a routine part of who we were and what we did.

That self-confidence remained with me through out my years in medicine, although like many other physicians in primary care practice I gradually began referring the more complicated cases to the specialists and gave up all but the simplest in office procedures.

In a few months it will be nine years since I walked away from that which dominated my life and to a very large part, defined who I was for 40 years. With each passing year the person I was becomes more and more a stranger to me.
I cannot think of myself immersed in a field of science and medicine, which has now become so foreign to me. I no longer recognize that person, and I wonder, have I made this complete transformation from medicine/science to art? Or did I make myself fit into that role, while my heart I really belonged to the broad world of art?

I am reminded of what a very dear man…a patient and an artist…once said to me in the early years of my “transformation”…”the doctor is not an artist, the artist is a doctor”.

1 comment:

happy internist said...

are sure you weren't a young turkey? : )