What doctors and soldiers have in common
“What makes soldiers and doctors good at their jobs are also the very things that make it hard to leave work at work. My former husband was, and is, very good at his job, especially when it comes to compassion and care for his patients. At work, he gives his all. He sits with grieving families, helping them understand what’s happening with their loved ones and even crying with them as they die. To ask one more thing of him when he’d given every ounce of his soul all day seemed selfish and childish. So I tried to be civilized and grown-up, swallowing my need for love, to be seen and cared for the way his patients were. By the end of the day, he was so drained; he must have felt that no story he could tell me could bridge the huge divide between the battlefield of the hospital and the home we shared. This is what many doctors do: go back and forth between the battlefield and whatever “home” they’ve created. They are soldiers in everyday life.”
Susan Hart Gaines is an executive coach specializing in physician wellbeing.
She shares her story and discusses her KevinMD article, “The difficulty in coming home: What doctors and soldiers have in common.”
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