Swimming against the tide gets you nowhere; you may drown. Walking upstream can result in you being washed off your feet; running through still water is a struggle but, while you feel you are getting somewhere, it can be exhausting.
I not sure which of these phenomena best reflects my career, but I hope it is the latter.
Unfortunately, clear thinking and caring do not seem to be the main drivers of the human race, nor medical care.
This story moves through the life of a young idealist, growing up in a small country town, having earned his position in University through dint of hard work, academic achievement, and physical effort through finding various laboring jobs to supplement a meager scholarship and pensioner-mother income. A son of a widowed mother and cancer consumed father, I moved from Melbourne, to New Zealand, back to Melbourne, then Dublin and London; through medical school, hospital residency and registrar training.
This story goes beyond recording a career, and some of the scenarios that reflect the ill-health of healthcare. It looks to provide a future vision, which includes regarding patients as the experts with whom a doctor consults … and cares for … moving away from the unhealthy power balance that too often exists at present.
Noting that medicine can be exciting when the disease is seen as a challenge, and all patients regarded as VERY individual, protocols should only guide. Medicine should be the artful application of science and the scientific application of art, with an individual approach to each new problem.
Combine that philosophy with the demand in the Patch Adams movie to “look through” (which pertains to a scene in the movie of when Patch was an inpatient in a psychiatric unit), one is inspired to understand each part of a patient’s problem by interpreting new facts through what is already known – the patient’s story helps you understand the examination and vis-versa; and so for each investigation.