Take 2.

I decided, upon some reflection, that I was dissatisfied with my post yesterday.

My first paragraph ended with me talking about wanting to be a good doctor. The second was an anecdote about how I was able to stay calm in an emergency and knew how to treat my patient. I feel like the juxtaposition of these may have made it seem like I was trying to prove I'm a good doctor or that I want everyone else to know that I always know what I'm doing.

Here's the thing:
I don't always know what I'm doing. I'm constantly having to look stuff up, even stuff I feel like I should know. Even today one of the third year residents glanced over some orders I had written and pointed out an order that was obviously wrong. Oops. Tuesday I just realized that all my training really had taught me a lot - and that I could use what I knew and stay calm in a serious situation.

Here's the other thing:
Knowing what to do in a situation like that doesn't make me a good doctor. It only makes me a competent one. Now, you can't be a good doctor without being competent, but there are plenty of competent doctors out there who aren't so great. I think it's fairly easy to be a competent doctor, but being a good doctor is much more difficult. It's not just knowing what to do; it's all the little things that make someone a good doctor - knowing what to say to a patient who is scared, being able to deliver bad news to a family in a kind way, graciously interacting with colleagues, being able to translate the complicated medical language we think in in a way that gives patients a true understanding of what is going on - these are the kinds of things it takes to be good. And the truly great doctors, I think, are those who really love their patients and figure out how to show them Jesus.

So that's what I'm aiming for. That is the kind of doctor I want to be. Not just competent.


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