Looking Back

Pilgrim on a Long, Long Journey

Today I was going through a long delayed exercise of throwing out personal business papers that were past their prime. Not only were they no longer needed but in some ways they were archaic. It was a bit of a shock to see how much things have changed.

Examining my correspondence that had been faxed 33 years years ago was like observing the Roman aqueducts. No emailing in 1987. Encryption was something for espionage.

And, my personal correspondence was hand written. It even approached legibility. Voice recognition software used to create an electronic document would have been the stuff of science fiction to me in 1987.

Sure is good to know these operations and transmissions occur today in a far easier, more efficient mode. That is particularly true since at 75, I need some easier.

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Joy in One’s Work

American historian, David McCullough, referring to his best lecture experience in his college days said, “…lectures on architecture by the incomparable Vincent Scully, who taught us all to see as never before. Wasn’t it Dickens who said, “Make me see”

Oh my, the gift of sight, the deep appreciation of what lies before you. How can you meet the needs of others in concert with your own needs? I remember during one of my most difficult days, speaking, telephonically, as an anxious, medical student with my late brother-in-law.

He suggested, as I looked askance at what my future held, should I continue to pursue the difficult road of a medical career that, there have been people who simply took some difficult areas of study to broaden their skills. He said they didn’t necessarily practice in those areas of study.

He was a trial lawyer, but, that was true of many of his colleagues in the law. They went into tangents of law or left it completely benefitting from the skills they had learned. It seemed at the time much rarer for physicians.

The interesting thing is that he nailed it. Most of my career (about 15 years in clinical practice and about 30 years in a tangent of medicine) was spent with the intellectual joy of medicine married to the art of the written and spoken word. My job was to both manage and to be a hands-on medical malpractice, claims person. Critical in the evaluation of claims were my written and verbal recommendations to decision makers. Would they choose to defend or settle a claim against a physician?

There was joy for me in both the medical science and the art of writing those recommendations, clearly and accurately. Ultimately, my clinical practice laid the groundwork for my claims efforts, that, so enhanced the completion of my career in medicine. I am thankful God made my road diverse and meaningful.