September 4, 2019
Invalid. If you break the word into its components it becomes “in” (not) “valid.” That’s how I felt as I woke up on March 18thknowing that I was unlikely to ever practice medicine again. It took me a long time to get out from the “in valid” label I had placed on myself to where I am now.
Now, as I set out on my journey to recreate myself and find purpose as a retired physician, I marvel at how insightful my younger self was. While I can no longer care for my patients in the office and hospital, I hope that this blog will provide a new level of care.
Below is one of the articles I published in 2011. The article is even more germane to my present circumstances than it was at the time I wrote it. Unfortunately, I don’t have the 30 years mentioned at the end of the article; but I’ll make the best out of what I have.
Monthly Archives: June 2011
June 30, 2011
Sometimes things just fall into place. Over the last 6 months, I have written on an assortment of topics. Most of the time, my patients or the news provide me with ample material for future publications. Last night, while flipping through the TV stations looking for something good to watch, I chanced upon two artists singing “Man In The Mirror” by Ballard and Garret. For the first time, I actually heard the words and realized how important the message this song delivers is.
I was discussing the importance of the song with my first patient of the day and he introduced me to his morning prayer, “Dear G-d, I have a problem and it’s me!” The lyrics to “Man in the Mirror” begin with:
“Ooh ooh ooh aah
Gotta make a change
For once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good
Gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right…..”
The chorus goes like this:
“I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself and then make a change, yey
Na na na, na na na, na na na na oh ho”
If we are to fix our broken medical system, we are going to have to make a change! That change does not start with electronic medical records, with expensive testing and medications, not with visits to the doctor’s office, nor in the vitamin aisle of your local merchant. That change cannot be legislated by any government nor is it coming from the insurance industry.
The change needs to start with “the man in the mirror.” As long as people neglect their own bodies, fail to take responsibility for their own health and the health of their families, no amount of medical care or money will suffice.
“If you wanna make the world a better place”, then for once in your life make a difference, make a change and feel really good. Look in the mirror and decide that your health is the most important thing you own. Start small; change something from unhealthy to healthy. Feel really good about the change. Then change something else. Take responsibility for your own health.
Be happy, be healthy. Then enlist your family, your friends and co-workers in a campaign to make a real change. Health costs relatively nothing to maintain and a lot to lose!
If you are not sure what needs changing or what’s unhealthy, see your doc. I’m sure your doc will be glad to assist you in your quest to be a healthy, responsible patient. If getting healthy means taking medications, take them. If being healthy means giving up vices, give them up. In the end, you will be glad you did!
I’ve started with the man in the mirror. I’m much happier with the man I see in my mirror today. I have a ways to go. It’s a long journey. I have thirty more years to practice medicine and I look forward to continuing this journey with all of you.