Why do you think those two are hugging and crying? my resident asks as we watch our attending embrace a man about his age. It’s because one year ago that patient was given four months to live. I saw him then, he looked like he was on his deathbed.
No one knew what he had
But our attending figured it out. He diagnosed him.
It was a rare form of leukemia.
You know it’s rare when Google’s feeble attempts to help out only turns up a handful of journal articles.
Do you know how he knew?
He read an article about it a few weeks before.
Everyone laughed at him, but he remembered that article and demanded we run the tests.
Turns out, he was right.
Never forget, reading saves lives.
To the first years, just staring out your med school journey, not sure why they signed up for this. To those who just finished boards, and never want to pick up a text book again. To the premeds, who just want to finish up their pre reqs and get to medical school already. To the spouses, who wonder if they will ever see their significant others without a textbook again.
This is why we do it.
This is why we stay up past our bedtimes.
And wake up before the sun.
This is why we memorize overly complicated pathways until we can do them in our sleep.
Why we can name every class of antibiotic, even those no one uses anymore.
This is why we push ourselves to be better every day than we were the last.
Why we put our lives on hold.
Not for more letters to put behind our name.
Not for some number on a score sheet.
Not because mom told us to.
We do it because one day, a day that will occur far faster than we are ready for, we’ll have our own patients.
One day someone will come in and ask you “so doc, what is it.” And you’ll say to yourself, I know this.
So when the tediousness of studying gets you down, don’t forget:
Reading saves lives.