Have you ever considered what the life of a doctor looks like away from the hospital? Whenever I ask people this they will often reply things like relaxing with classical music or enjoying some company with friends in a fancy restaurant, the reality for many however is far from this TV-inspired fantasy that many people have in their minds. I have been a roomie of Dr. Ryan Shephard for almost 9 years now and during that time I have seen what really happens when a doctor has finished their day’s work and I must tell you, it isn’t always pretty.
We may like to believe that doctors are emotionless robots who look upon the human body as a plumber looks at pipes, but this is actually far from the reality. From speaking to my roomie and his colleagues, it is clear that many doctors actually learn to push these emotions aside when they are working in a hospital, and then release them when they are at home, either with friends and family or more often than not, when they are alone. Imagine people dying when you are in charge of looking after them? Even if there was nothing that could be done, that is still a lot of pain to process.
Something which must be highly frustrating for doctors to go through are the fact that as soon as someone finds out what their profession is, they begin to ask them for their services and whether or not they can review a health concern that they may have. Doctors must always be on the clock in this regard, especially in an emergency situation. One night we were out with some friends of ours when Ryan charges off, what we hadn’t realized was that a man had fallen over and before we realized it he was engaging in CPR on the arrested man. This quick thinking saved the man’s life and it just shows that doctors never really stop, they are just waiting for the next life to save.
Most of us can stop studying once we leave education and embark upon our career, but this is absolutely not the case in the world of a medical professional like a doctor. In fact Ryan tells me that he is often very scared of losing knowledge that could help to improve or save someone’s life that this is why he studies so much. He also tells me that the speed of medical advancements with regards to techniques and treatments is so fast that he must study in order to stay on top of his profession. So not only do doctors work longer hours than the majority of us, they dedicate what free time they do have to learning more and getting their heads stuck into the books, simply remarkable.
Each doctor will differ of course but in my experience, this is what their lives look like beyond the gowns.