January 2, 2018

Leaping into 20182018 has arrived. For me it is hard to imagine that 2017 is actually finished. To use a medical metaphor, the many outrageous developments of 2017 have been hard to digest. Is truth really not important anymore? Is the press, historically the fourth estate, appropriate to malign and dismiss, or necessary for our very survival? Is our environment, indeed our planet, important to preserve and cherish, or appropriate to exploit and poison? Should our federal government continue to increase the disparity between the rich and the poor, and encourage less rather than more of our citizens to have health care? These are some of the big questions to wonder about as we leave 2017 and begin 2018. These and other major issues obviously affect the health and well being of us all.

And yet as physicians we enter 2018 as we left 2017, putting politics aside, with the job to meet with our patients and understand their needs and disorders, one patient at a time, day after day, with compassion and caring. We have most likely celebrated the holidays with family and friends and probably talked and consulted with parents, friends, and relatives about their maladies, as I have with mine. Relatives and friends, of course, respect our knowledge and experience to help with their health issues. It’s the nature of our calling as physicians to offer support and expertise to those we are close to as well as to the patients in our offices and hospitals, adding our expertise to the uncertainties that we all face with the challenges of age and health.  

As physicians we are at our best when we approach our patients with the caring and concern that we might offer to our family and friends when they approach us with their medical concerns. We can’t be the doctors who care for our close ones but we can advise them with the fullest attention and caring possible. And when we bring that amount of caring and concern to our practice of medicine with our patients then we are truly doing the best we can for them, and truly actualizing our calling as physicians. Similarly, when we bring our knowledge and expertise to the larger concerns of our society we also actualize our calling as physicians, working to promote the health of our nation as well as our patients.  

Leonard Korn, MD
NHMS President