Just the other day I was reading in “Dr. Blogs” a very disturbing article titled “Are We Witnessing the Death of the Modern-day Physician.” The author, Dr. Jordan Grumet, is an internal medicine physician who owns his own private practice in Northbrook, Illinois. Dr. Grumet laments the changing face of American medicine “the cost of education has exploded while salaries are taking a nose dive… respect in the community is waning… the morale of the profession is faltering…” With all of the changes in American medicine, it is a constant challenge to remain upbeat , to focus on patients and not paperwork.
That very same day one of my former patients, a survivor of stage IV prostate cancer, paid me an unscheduled visit. Immediately I was concerned for his health. But he had come to give me an unexpected gift at an unexpected time.
I was overwhelmed at his caring and thoughtfulness. I am not used to being on the other side of giving. He told me that he remembered at his initial consultation, my remarking on the words on his t-shirt. He had worn the shirt many times before and didn’t think anyone noticed its words. He remembered that I told him, “I really like your t-shirt. I need to do that myself.” I can only hope to abide by its meaning each and every day. It reads “Life is good. Keep it simple.”