I’ve been working in a primary care network, and it’s really starting to get to me. Family med, that is. It’s just so damn… wholesome. It’s so healing, so nurturing. Being someone’s doctor from cradle to grave. Treating families, not individuals. Being there for someone’s physical, mental, and emotional health. Seems so holistic and just what patient care is supposed to be.

Then I read this, and it not only makes me want to be a primary care physician so I can cuddle babies and treat an anxious mom in the same room, but because I wanna change the goddamn world too. This kind of stuff makes me really see what preventative medicine can do for people (and, horrifically, what its absence can do to people). This is what I consider health care. Not disease care, not chronic disease management, not putting bandaids on boo-boos. This is really the stuff that will change the world.

And suddenly, I feel a lot less selfish about considering family or pediatrics as my number one option. When people would ask me about why it’s between psych or peds, I’d answer, “Well I think I’m most interested in psych but if I decide to be selfish, I’ll do peds–because the babies are cute!” And that makes me look back on how much this short year has influenced my thinking, from going completely by how other physicians (and even society at large) condescendingly assumes that primary care is the easy way out, to now realising that the future of health care truly lies in the hands of these admirable and groundbreaking caretakers.

So no, I won’t feel the slightest twinge of guilt for gunning for a program that has a shorter residency or a better lifestyle. Because this is the field that will take care of my children, and give people longer lives, and get people to finally start being accountable for their own health.

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