A Physician’s Thanksgiving Gratitude List

November 20, 2012

I’m thankful for everyone from my awesome medical assistant to the patients who let me deliver their babies. And my EHR.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I find myself trying to focus less on the chaos of the season and more on the many blessings in my life. So, this week, I wanted to share my gratitude for the balance I continually try to achieve at home and at work.

                First, I am thankful for having a robust home and work life to even have to balance.

                I am also thankful for …

1. The people who need me, whether that is to help find a missing shoe, give a hug goodnight, deliver a baby, or manage their diabetes (It’s good to be needed);

2. The people who support me at home and at work so that I can accomplish so many things in a typical day;

3. Friends who challenge me to do less so I can enjoy more;

4. Colleagues who are available to commiserate with, tell me I’m right when that’s what I really need to hear, and tell me I’m wrong in the nicest possible way;

5. My awesome medical assistant who contributes so much to the care I provide my patients;

6. My patient who sent me flowers as a thank-you;

7. The opportunity to see the babies I deliver grow up to take first steps, say first words, and give me a high-five;

8. The patients who let me deliver their babies;

9. The OB colleagues who help me deliver babies that I can’t deliver on my own;

10. The opportunity to be a doctor - still a noble profession, still a great life;

11. The fact that the problems and headaches I manage at work are often inconsequential in the grand scheme of life and that my personal crises are small, relatively speaking;

12. For circumstances that force me to let go of too many commitments;

13. Nursing staff who clean up all the details of our clinic so that I can focus on patient care;

14. Medications like lisinopril and metformin: They are really wonderful and so cheap!

15. Evidence-based medicine, which allows me to have at least a semblance of confidence in what I tell my patients;

16. The fact that medicine is not so cookie-cutter that a robot or trained monkey could do my job

17. Cozi.com, which allows my husband and I to schedule our hectic lives a little bit better;

18. iPhones because, hey, they let me keep track of all my important numbers, check e-mail during boring meetings, and play Plants versus Zombies;

19. Our EHR: While there are drawbacks to the electronic medical record, the availability of information is incredibly beneficial to my patient care and I can catch up on notes in my pajamas; and

20. The chance to write my random thoughts on life down and call it a blog.

And, of course, I am thankful for all those amazingly wonderful things that you don’t appreciate until they’re no longer there - friends and family, health, a warm home, a great living, a free country.

Happy Thanksgiving.