I asked myself the same question over and over again since my first day in medical school. And I did not find the answer until the day I was about to spell my Physician Oath (a modernized version of Hippocratic Oath) on the day I graduated. In tradition, the ceremony in my medical school was embroidered with cultural and spiritual value, the inheritance of people of the Eastern side of the globe. They had us spell our Oath with our religion-wise holy scripture raised in front of us. I was holding my Holy Bible up high and the next thing I know, I was in tears.
I looked back in time to find the moment of my initial inspiration. And I know, I am not the only one in this emotional labyrinth. That very question kindled in their heart too, in the heart of my fellow physicians. Some have wanted to be a doctor for so long; they do not even know what originally inspired them.. Some fall in love into the journey of becoming one. Some find answers along the journey to become one. And each of the answer uniquely differ from one another.
I fall in love with life itself.
I fall in love with it’s miracle; encrypted in every cell in a human being.
In, every, cell.
And having the knowledge of how life works in those cells, how they regulate their self in wondrous secrecy and automatism, how the brain process thoughts, how the heart beats, how the air fills the lungs, how the senses perceived external stimuli, and so on, and so on, is the real calling.
It is the one thing that keep me going day by day, in motivation and passion just like dancing to a continuous endless music; being in love with life, itself.
Medicine is an art of life. Of being alive.
The moment I spelled my Oath, I answered myself, the ultimate question.
I knew why.
Because I want to honor life at its best.
And that is what I am willing to do, throughout my odyssey.
I never forget the moment I become a doctor. What I may not notice is the moment that being a doctor changes me.
As for you, my fellow white-coats, it might take a life-long journey to find the answer. And no one can answer it but us ourselves. Whatever answers you have in mind, and whatever motives you have in heart, you know what you have to do. Yes, you know.
– i –