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Posted on 12-16-2013
The silent finality of a diagnosis, the onslaught of shrieking desperation, the quiet glances of unsympathetic eyes piercing my emotions with searing blades of accusation. Suddenly, I don’t want to be the one with the answers anymore. I don’t want to know what is wrong because there are no solutions. The condition or disorder incurable. The treatments too harsh and inadequate, unable to expunge the situation. Unexpectedly, there is no restoration or repair available and every case that has ever gone terribly wrong and every injustice that has ever been a part of my memories are slapping me in the face. I struggle for comforting words as I regard the blank stares of disbelief and none come. Every memory of every patient I have tried to save and failed miserably, despite best efforts and endless nights of prayer and pleading, come flooding in and a silent tear escapes the corner of my eye, a vice squeezing my heart until I believe it will burst, and the acid in my stomach creating a rift daring to tear me apart. It is in that moment comfort arrives. Because that one tear and the many that follow guides me to continue my efforts, my passion. Gliding in silently on a mist of hope, a vapor of ‘maybe,’ a last desperate attempt at resolution despite its bleakness. It is what I must do. It is the path I chose or that has chosen me. However, what is most important is who it makes me become.
In truth, I am the doctor and with that position comes great responsibility. For it is not a title, a designation, or a crown to be worn as a flamboyant accolade. It is an onus of servanthood to be worn with humility and grace with knowledge of its complexity and profundity. The ability to courageously admit ‘not knowing’ but unwilling to leave it that way. Always searching, seeking, investigating, scrutinizing, assessing every possibility or probability before relinquishing the pursuit of the remedy.
Being the doctor is not being satisfied with the inability to find the remedy, the inability to correct, repair, restore, rehabilitate, mend, reconstruct, remodel, redevelop, revitalize, and regenerate.
Being the doctor means finding a way to comfort, ease, relax, calm, and soothe even the most distressed patient, parent, guardian, caretaker, or attendant.
Being the doctor, means taking the blame, the guilt, the contrition, the remorse and the sorrow when no one else can bear to stand beneath its weight...because my character and who I have become demands it.
What is the one quality which increases the probability of an individual to think, speak, or act in such a way to genuinely believe they can and will affect another’s future?
Servanthood. It touches everyone, but changes me.
Because my soul can drink it in and swallow it down.
Because even though my mind can’t always comprehend it, my heart applauds it.
Because it fills me, so that I can be emptied into someone else.
Susan C Benefield, DVM
It takes a special person to do what you do! May God bless your!
This is what makes you so very special. God sent you down this path that has allowed you to touch so many lives!