As January ends and February begins, I’m ecstatic to announce I have finished book 3 of my new year challenge!
I have grown up dreaming of one day becoming a Physician. I have never been forced to go into the field of medicine, and I’ve explored other options but don’t find them as appealing to my personality. Dr. Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal truly opens the eyes of those hoping to pursue a career in medicine, those already practicing medicine, and for those that aren’t even in the health field. A novel we all can learn from, he explores the struggles with decision making when it comes to caring for the elderly and terminally ill. With several advancements in medical technology, many of us are under the misconception that undergoing a certain medical treatment can cure our ailments and get us back to a perfectly healthy condition. Where this may be true for several cases, those struggling or overcoming a disease that involves the major body systems, it’s extremely difficult to return to their original healthy self, which then the definition healthy attains a new meaning. With numerous treatment options, many are asked to weigh out the decisions of staying and forgoing continuous treatment (with possible side effects) in the hospital, or to live out the remaining time they have with close family and friends at home. Weighing the options of nursing homes, hospice care, and medical facilities, it really opened my eyes as to “What would I do? What would my parents do?”. Death is something we all ignore to think about, but in reality it is inevitable and having a plan and decision beforehand makes the process much easier for the self and the family involved. From your views on organ donations to where you would like your remains to be laid, it’s important to have a conversation amongst your loved ones so they KNOW what you would want, not what they THINK you would want. The topic might not be the happiest, but it sure is necessary.
There is much to learn from this book from the establishment of nursing homes, the reality of medical training, and the lesson to instill empathy in our daily routines. I truly recommend this read to everyone, for I am not going to explain every minute detail that has opened my eyes, but I promise you’ll learn something new. The most important lesson I have taken away from this book is how to dedicate my future practice in medicine for my patients, for the people, and not allow the institution of medicine shadow over the reason I wish to pursue a career as a doctor!
My next book will be When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
Meditation Update: I recently recovered from a very bad cold and cough, so I have not been dedicated to my meditation challenge for the past two weeks (also had to pause on my daily yoga and workout). Now that I’m feeling much better, I’ll be starting from the beginning!
Stay Happy and Healthy,