Last night, I went with my friend Cathal to the Human Rights Watch fundraising dinner in San Francisco and it was really inspiring. Listening to the honorees (a journalist from Uzbekistan and a political organizer from Burma) talk about their experiences and their hopes for their countries made me want to be a better person. I think that the reason why I am doing what I am doing can easily be lost in the shuffle of looking up lab values, writing orders, or doing post-op checks. It's easy to forget that I went into medicine to make a difference, to feel like I have made my impact in the world. Also, it is easy to forget that what I am doing and what I complain about is nothing compared to how others in this world have it. Being inspired by the dinner makes me want to make a concerted effort everday, in everything that I do, to do my best and to really feel like I am living up to my potential. Otherwise, why else do what I am doing?
Going to last night's dinner was also good because it provided a break from what I do on a day to day basis. Sometimes I feel lost in the world of the hospital and disconnected from the outside world. The experience last night helped me reconnect and remember that I am part of a larger picture that continues to go on outside the walls of the hospital. If only I could do it more often.