Practicing from the Heart in the age of Technology
A colleague, returning from three years of work in Chile, talks of the magic of practicing medicine in the villages of the Andes. "My clinic", says he, "could not be reached by any means but foot, burros or llamas."
The morning always starts with a chill, no matter the time of the year. The thin air seems to suck the breath from the deepest crevasses of the lung, leaving not a void, but a euphoria of a kind, felt by the pounding of the heart. The rays of the morning sun, too, seem breathless as they climb over the snow-covered peaks. On most days, mist, fog or clouds fill the valley below in a surrealistic panorama, while eagles and condors soar through the waves of air.
Elated, we start the day as a fountain of emotion overwhelms our senses. As beautiful people of mountain villages arrive, bearing gifts of bread, maize, and poultry. Though, they may be sick, or injured, their gratitude of having us there is so contagious that compels one to want to care for them as one would a loved one. Such is the nature of the practice, day after day, month after month. Though at times we were exhausted, we were never tired.
Today in our country, social issues, economy, and the war in Europe occupy the media, the Supreme Court, legislators and our thoughts. While healthcare and providing for people is pushed to the back. An irrational thing to do as pandemics of new and old pathogens are ravaging the world. Society is fighting to free itself from many handicapping regulations. Perhaps it is also time to free our healthcare providers from being a cashier for corporations and let them care for the sick and injured. The euphoria of such freedom would make us all feel that we are practicing above the clouds.