Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Simplicity of 'Neighbor Rosicky' Strikes a Chord

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Simplicity of 'Neighbor Rosicky' Strikes a Chord

Article excerpt

How often have you read "Neighbor Rosicky" by Willa Cather?

Really? You should. It'll take maybe an hour, at most. You can likely find it free online.

It was an assignment for a college literature class I took in 1987. A lot of the things we read weren't particularly memorable, but this one grabbed me. It's a simple story about life, aging, and family, partly told through the eyes of a young doctor. At the same time it has both very little and a lot to do with being a doctor. It wasn't my sole inspiration to become one, but it struck a chord that made me feel like it was the right thing for me.

At its heart and soul, it's why, I believe, many of us become doctors. In the modern era, it's also likely more fantasy than reality. But the basic theme is there: helping patients who genuinely need you and who appreciate what you do for them, even when the news isn't good.

For all the labels that get put on us (practitioners, providers, defendants, etc.) what we do now is still what the shamans did ages ago: try to help sick people with the tools that are available to us. …

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