Medicine is a calling

I was caring for a patient yesterday in clinic.
He is well know to me; 78yo male with multiple medical problems including Parkinson’s, heart disease, history of cancer, a recently broken hip, and more. We chatted about his quality of life and his ability to perform activities of daily living; we discussed solutions for his worsening urinary incontinence and declining mobility. We even talked about game of thrones (the great connector), and the position I accepted as a hospitalist in San Diego when I finish residency next month. We discussed how this would likely be the last time I saw him in a professional capacity, but asked him to keep in touch. After the appointment, as he walked to the exit, he passed my office, stopped, turned (which was a lot of effort because he was using a walker in a narrow hallway) and said: “your future patients will love you, and will be so lucky to have you.” I saw him tear up a little as I got up to hug him. I did too. Thank you, medicine, for the gift and privilege of caring for my fellow human. As flawed as medicine is, as exhausted and demoralized as I often am… this job is a calling. And one I will continue to answer with humility and gratitude.