It’s that time of year, when we gather with family and friends to celebrate and reflect on what we’re grateful for. Like many of us, doctors are thankful for their health, their loved ones, and their jobs. But in a profession plagued with constant changes, challenges, and sky-high burnout rates, we thought it was a good time to take stock of what in particular health care providers are thankful for now. Here’s what doctors had to say.
1. Breakthroughs in healthcare technology.
“It is the most exciting time in health care with paradigm shifts and challenges to static ideas occurring in all fields, and the beginning of synergy between medicine, technology and the internet,” Kamal Patel, M.D., tells the physician-owned board prep company, BoardVitals. “I feel like breakthroughs in medicine and technology are happening at lightning speed, and having a positive effect on how we as physicians are able to care for our patients.”
Sudip Bose, M.D., co-founder and chief medical officer of liveClinic, agrees that this is a time of progress: “We are getting closer and closer to the digital revolution of medicine. I believe the future will soon see a new era of connected medicine; doctors and patients will have a more direct way to reach each other, and the ability to share medical information more freely.”
2. The intellectual challenge.
No matter how long you’ve been practicing, medicine offers “numerous opportunities to challenge your brain,” writes Jennifer Frank, M.D. in Physicians Practice. “I love that I still get stumped by patients and that I often have to go back to the literature to find out an answer.”
3. Colleagues and collaboration.
Among other things, Nina Shapiro, M.D., said that she is thankful for “my teams at work–nurses, residents, students, and staff. We are in this together, and I am lucky to have them.” Dr. Frank also cites her colleagues’ shared mission to work together to take care of patients as something she’s thankful for: “For the most part, there is a sense of the sacred in what we do.”
4. Pro-active, engaged patients.
“This year I am thankful for new patients that actively seek out information and initiate change that may result in a healthier and happier lifestyle. Since some patients ignore good advice, it is a blessing to see those taking action and producing benefits. It brightens both the patient’s and the physician’s day,” Jared Heathman, M.D., said.
5. The ability to help and heal.
“I am grateful to have the opportunity to help my patients solve their medical worries, and at times, help to save their lives. I believe this is the reason most doctors chose their profession in the first place,” writes Dr. Bose. “We want to help and are blessed to be in a position to do so. No matter how small the act, helping someone to heal is a gift that I am always grateful for.”