Find Your People And Celebrate Medicine

I am the proud spouse of a physician. I absolutely love my husband’s discipline, drive, intellect, and servant’s heart, all the attributes that so many physicians embody. His ambition and brilliance were a primary reason why I fell completely in love with him. We were married during our undergraduate years. So, I’ve had a front row seat journeying the unyielding road of pre-med, medical school, and now the end of residency. It has been an incredible story full of joy, pain, sacrifice, grace, victories, and realizations. We have moved cities and become a family of four with the birth of two sons. These relentless years, that sometimes felt like we were standing still as we would begin year after year of training, have given me clear and realistic expectations of what our life will look like in the future. The calling of medicine is one that is full of hard work and sacrifice; there is no doubt about that. It is a life of service.

Without hesitation, I acknowledge the difficulty of the journey. Medicine is intense and highly stressful, often under-appreciated, and constantly under scrutiny; however, I never want these difficulties to overshadow the highlights we’ve experienced. The other side, as with most things that require our best, consists of everyday miracles. I constantly see the glory of God displayed through medicine. The knowledge and skill of physicians, the tender care of nurses, the PhD in the lab searching for cures in order to find solutions for the greater good are just a few ways that I see God move through his people in this field. I know so many servant-hearted physicians that dedicate their lives to healing and helping others. It is a special calling requiring a unique combination of acquired skill and natural gifts.

In the words of Carola Eisenburg MD:

The satisfaction of being able to relieve pain and restore function, the intellectual challenge of solving clinical problems, and the variety of human issues we confront in daily clinical practice will remain the essence of doctoring, whatever the changes in the organizational and economic structure of medicine…What we do as doctors, most of the time, is deeply gratifying, whatever the mix of patient care, research, and teaching in our individual careers. I cannot imagine a more satisfying calling.*

It is a privilege to be a doctor. It is a truly sacrificial profession deserving of admiration, support, and respect. That respect should be displayed in our own homes. The loved ones in our lives that are living out their calling of medicine, wherever they may be in that journey, need encouragement from those closest to them. As a wife, many times I have stolen my husband’s joy, peace, and confidence instead of encouraging him, being his place of calm, or building him up. I have allowed stress to steal my own joy and, as a result, have not been the life-giver that my husband needs and deserves. I know many of my friends have felt the same. It is a constant surrender to be a life-giver, especially in the middle of a particularly trying rotation or schedule, but it is essential for all.

Through the highs and lows of medical school and residency, marriage, and having children, I have been blessed with people God placed in my path; I’ve grown with other resident wives who are in the same season of life as I. We have shared wise counsel, girls’ nights, hosted play dates, and grieved with one another. We have become mothers together and studied the Bible together. As believers we were made for community.

Community is essential. When we have others in our lives that we have built community with, we find encouragement, teaching, support through struggles and pains, we remain humble and grounded, and we are led to the Father. I encourage you to seek out others who are life-givers especially on this journey of medicine. Find others who can relate and support you during those trying periods. Words cannot express how much my resident-wife friends mean to me. If you are the spouse or fiancé of a medical student, resident, or attending I invite you to join us at our next SBS meeting. We will have two in the month of February. It is a beautiful community full of support and encouragement, and we would love to get to know you.

Guest post by Claire Necessary. Claire is the wife to a resident and mother of two boys. They love their busy and beautiful life here in Atlanta. Claire cherishes community and loves bringing people together. She mainly writes about community and culture on her blog: Follow her on twitter @acnecessary

*Eisenburg, Carola. “It is Still a Privilege to Be a Doctor.” On Doctoring: Stories, Poems, and Essays. Ed. Richard Reynolds. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2001.