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10 Things Docs Want to Tell Their Families


You see your spouse and kids every day, but you might not always tell them how you really feel - especially when it comes to your job. Read on to see what your peers had to say to their families.

You see your spouse and kids every day, but you might not always tell them how you really feel - especially when it comes to your job. We asked doctors in our 2009 Great American Physician Survey to fill in “what I would like to tell my spouse/my kids about the life and work of a modern physician.” Answers for spouses and kids were recorded in separate fields, and ran the gamut of emotions. Here are 10 that stood out:

Physicians to their kids:

  • “It’s hard but fulfilling work. You will have to sacrifice a lot. Your friends will have families, careers, and houses before you even get your first job. It is a vocation, a commitment. Don’t go into it for money or fame or power. You have to go into it because you love it.”
  • “Don’t even think about being a doctor and if you do, I’ll break both of your arms and both of your legs. No job satisfaction, constant aggravation, all the responsibility but no authority, poor compensation compared with any other profession yet more work than any other profession.”
  • “I know you think I work too many hours and often all you hear are the complaints about patients wanting more, but I feel that I am one of the luckiest individuals in the world. It is such an honor to be trusted with and included in the lives of my patients. I only hope you find a career that you are as passionate about as I am about being a good doctor.”
  • “Make sure you work for yourself. And do not forget your own health.”
  • “You are the most important people to me, even when I am on the phone with a patient or at the hospital. I am thrilled inside although noncommittal outside when one of you says you want to be a physician.”

Physicians to their spouses:

  • “My job is incredibly interesting, profoundly important, and sometimes shockingly mundane (faxing and filling out forms). It is alternately hilarious and tragic. I can’t tell you how strange and intense my job is, so sometimes I feel lonely.”



  • “I wish I were happier in what I do each day. If I talk about looking for a change, don’t be afraid to move or try something different. It is a big country and I have lots to offer.”



  • “It is because of your enduring love that I am able to show love to others. Physicians need secure relationships and a listening ear. Thank you.”



  • “I am sorry that my work has made me miss so much of our growing family - so many important events and really fun times: the spontaneous picnics, evening playtime, and the loss of assisting in discipline for the kids.”



  • “I will be late today. I have to finish my paperwork.”

Abigail Beckelis managing editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at abigail.beckel@cmpmedica.com. Sara Michaelis an associate editor for Physicians Practice. She can be reached at sara.michael@cmpmedica.com. This article originally appeared in the October 2009 issue of Physicians Practice.


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