I was sharing (aloud) this posting with Kristy. He overheard my words and became upset. He began to cry.
“I don’t like that Daddy. I want you to delete it.”
“Because, I don’t like it. I don’t like how it makes me feel.”
“I’m sorry, buddy…I was just trying to share with people how proud I am of your desire to learn how to be a surgeon. Do you know yow long your doctor had to go to school to help you when you are sick?”
“Uh-uh. (calming, but still wiping away his tears)”
“21 years [okay, so I included K-12, under-grad and grad…it worked for emphasis].”
“Wow, that is a long time.”
“And even though some doctors go to school for that long they still never learn (or maybe they forget) that the most important thing is how they treat the patient. I can’t tell you how often I see people in physical therapy who tell me that (when they go to see the doctor) their doctor does not even look at them. The doctor just looks at notes in the patient’s folder and x-rays of the patient on the wall. How do you think that makes the patient feel?”
“You’re right, so I wanted to share this story with all of the therapists and doctors on the internet who are unable to remember how important it is to spend time with their patients to help them feel better; that there is more to being a doctor than just reading and cutting. I want them to learn the same lesson that you learned that day.”
“But, Daddy…I still want you to delete that, I don’t like it. ”
“I understand, buddy. I will, I promise.”
His young confidence is fragile and if it was that important to him not to be so publicly fallible then I was okay with that. The conversation was over…I would delete the post after dinner.
. . . .
Five minutes later, I heard something from my son, a boy who just turned 5 years old this month, that I will never forget. Unprompted, between fork-fulls of linguni and clam sauce, he said:
“Daddy, I changed my mind. If your post will help people be better doctors then you don’t have to delete it. Doctors need to learn how to be better. I think that is a good idea. They shouldn’t make people be sad. Just don’t read it to me again, okay?”