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But as I got to know my classmates, I was surprised. I mean all of them really did care. ALL of them were passionate, all of them, at some level, wanted to make a difference and help people. That was apparent to me after only a few days.
I mean, the placebo effect is a very real thing that improves people's outcomes in disease so drastically, it has to be controlled for any experimental drug to be approved for use.
I can personally tell you, the little things, telling someone their medications are on their way, holding their hand, nodding and actually listening as they're telling you how and why their treatment sucks, personally saying you're sorry for running behind schedule and will get to you soon, can make someone's shitty day in hospital. But even if it does take that "extra mile" of filling in a form for someone's work or insurance company explaining their circumstances and lack of productivity, walking down with them to a biopsy or sitting by them as they start a new therapy, or personally writing a letter to a medical board saying why that 17 year old patient should get to sit his medical board exams, you should do it.
Because chances are, you're not enjoying every day at the office.
"My very presence here could change someone's life..."
But this doesn't just apply to them. It applies to anyone working in healthcare, anyone in any other profession really. It doesn't matter if you're only studying, if you're coming up the ranks or if you're nearing the end of your career; anyone who's reading this can make their life meaningful by making their work, and their life mean something...
There will be days, or tasks in the office that'll seem pointless, meaningless, mind-numbingly boring. There will be long weeks of seemingly constant preparation and study...
Hell - you may even learn to love those bits too.
And even if you think that what you're doing has no purpose, no value, no bearing on someone's life, then remember this question that Patch Adams, the world's first clown doctor, (one of Robbie Williams most famous roles was playing him in the movie, Patch Adams), put to me and a bunch of other medical students.
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