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The Art of Medicine


Reed, Harrison MMSc, PA-C

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Journal of the American Academy of PAs: September 2015 - Volume 28 - Issue 9 - p 62
doi: 10.1097/01.JAA.0000470445.66521.02
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Sometimes your job feels like a job.

Sometimes you feel under the gun, underappreciated and underpaid.

And sometimes money just seems cold and hard.

Sometimes you're so exhausted at the end of the day you don't look at your own feet and end up on a treadmill in your work shoes.

And sometimes you don't even make it to the gym.

Sometimes you wonder how medical training can make you a hypochondriac and still siphon your empathy, drop by drop.

Sometimes your job feels like a burden.

Sometimes your allies and your enemies crisscross and trade places like a barnyard dance.

And sometimes it feels like you are the only one who hears the music.

Sometimes they scream your failures.

Sometimes they whisper your praises.

Sometimes the small, quiet acts—the ones you can't quantify or itemize or bill—are the most valuable.

And sometimes they go unnoticed.

Sometimes the best parts of your job are the ones that hurt you the most.

And sometimes you avoid them.

Sometimes your friends think you work at a hospital like the ones on TV.

Sometimes you think those TV people must wait for the commercials before they cry.

Sometimes you forget the words you recited with all of your classmates when you took that oath.

But sometimes, when you remember those words, you realize they answer all of your uncertainties.

Sometimes your patients require patience.

Sometimes, despite your passion, they curse your name.

Sometimes you deserve it. And sometimes you don't.

Sometimes they push through a tiny gap in their pain and kiss your gloved hand and thank you.

Sometimes you don't deserve it. But sometimes you do.

Sometimes their faces blur together into one unfamiliar mask.

And sometimes they all look just like your nephew or your mom.

Sometimes your job feels like your duty.

Sometimes your calling eclipses your occupation.

Sometimes your passion shakes the branches of the tree that shades you.

Sometimes doing what's right puts you in the wrong.

Sometimes your convictions have you convicted.

Sometimes those who once pledged support speak against you.

And sometimes those seem like the only voices.

But sometimes that's because the grateful ones have no voice.

Sometimes you remember the most important person is not the most powerful.

Sometimes you remember the weak, sick person is the reason you exist.

Sometimes they make it in the end.

And sometimes they don't.

And sometimes it doesn't matter, as long as you were there.

Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Physician Assistants