I appreciated this perspective of what it is like to be a Doctor who specializes in treating cancer. We have probably all been touched by this nasty disease in one way or another. Although we try not to think about it, we would all be helped to understand what it is like from the perspective of the medical professionals whose calling it is to care for those with cancer. He frames the article by explaining, "Why I Keep Quiet About Being a Caner Doctor." Read it here.
Dr. Daniel Rayson:
When I don't escape or lie—there is no way to predetermine when the urge for honesty will suddenly strike—I answer, “I'm a cancer specialist,” and then feel the immediate lurch to the edge of a conversational cliff. This answer can be as shocking to my conversation partner as when I passingly ask someone, “How's it going,” expecting a bland “not bad,” but instead have to respond to, “Oh just horrible—this has been one of the worst weeks of my life.” A momentarily stunned, uncomfortable silence follows.Click here to read the whole post.
Responses to my profession confession vary and often include vignettes of how the person has been touched by cancer in the present or past, whether through the closest of loved ones or the most distant of acquaintances. When no such vignette is forthcoming, the conversation often turns to “how close ‘they’ are to a cure” or to imaginative hypotheses surrounding etiologies and best preventive methods. The possible collusion of industry and government in preventing the dissemination of a simple, natural cure also comes up commonly. Inevitably, there is a tinge of disbelief: Most people know someone who has been impacted by a malignancy, but have never met someone who deals with the onslaught of disease and despair day in and day out.