On Being a ‘Falling Down’ Physician–Part 3

Another aspect of being a ‘falling down’ physician relates to the reluctance of some of the ‘best and brightest’ students to choose medicine as a career. I have heard about this first hand from parents of such ‘special’ individuals.  They seem to be gravitating towards the financial world in which the primary goal and accomplishment is to make enormous amounts of money.

I certainly have no objection to money or to those who seek it. But I find it rather ludicrous to compare becoming a physician with becoming an investment banker. I can’t possibly see how this can be regarded as a choice at all.

This is like comparing the options of becoming a professional athlete with a clergyman–they are so totally and completely different.

Perhaps I am still naive enough at my age to believe that medicine still represents a noble profession–despite all the changes and persistent aggravation. From a metaphysical perspective, there is no better use of one’s time than to assist in alleviating another human being’s suffering.

I doubt that many investment bankers can make that statement.

But clearly we live in a society which has tended to value people by their financial statements. It is no coincidence that the term net worth is used to denote individuals at a ‘higher’ level in society.   What we need to distinguish is financial net worth from what is so clearly much more important–to value the caring and compassion that one being demonstrates for another.

This is what I would like to see–people being ‘valued’ by a true net worth.


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