Monday, August 29, 2016

Identity

While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "it is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." 

Matthew 9:10-13

Today, a friend of mine who is a 1st year intern at a university hospital posted on Facebook that he regrets for not applying to dental school. I think that really is the reality of being a doctor in Korea. 

Students who enter medical school are academically top 1% in the nation. Many have entered this field for stability and maybe prestige. However, the reality is that without understanding the true role of a doctor, this job might be a curse rather than a blessing. 

In the scripture above, Jesus was criticized for dining with sinners. The irony was that Jesus came to this earth to heal and save people who were in need of help. Not many people really understood his role and why he came to this earth. Just because he was a teacher, who was capable of driving out demons, raising people from the dead, and feeding thousands of people with couple loaves of bred and fish, he did not seek high places. 

Doctors may be just a human, a father or a mother of a household, an ordinary adult. There may be certain rights that doctors themselves need to cherish. However, it is important that doctors also understand that they have a social responsibility, a privileged title, and maybe even a burden that needs to be carried with them wherever they go along. 

Our (doctors') lives are fundamentally meant to be with the patients, not just the healthy. Therefore, it is important that we do not try to separate out lives from them or try to make a distinction. We need to remind ourselves, who we are living for, and if our daily lives reflect someone who is answering to their specific calling to serve the unwell. 

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