Friday, November 21, 2008

Shifting priorities

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.

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