Saturday, April 17, 2004

The Parkers all piled into the family truckster yesterday and went to the place where Mrs. Parker and myself grew up. Our respective parents live within fifteen minutes of each other so while we are staying at my mother-in-laws house I took the kids to spend most of the day with their other grandparents. A good time was had by all. We typically make it up here every two months but with this being north Georgia it seems as if it is changing all the time. Every time I visit I can't help but think, what if????
My desire throughout college and medical school was to return to my hometown and practice, a desire no doubt shared by some of my physician readers. I actually had a job offer in my hometown but I turned it down for two reasons. One was, and while I love my family very much, I was afraid it would be a cross between a Tennessee Williams play and Everybody Loves Raymond. The other was that the guy who offered me the job had a reputation held by the medical community in town of being a jerk to other physicians and co-workers. Physicians who's counsel I sought bluntly told me that my own judgment would be suspect if I took the job. The pay was also lousy starting off.
In this month's Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons is an article titled Retirement:An opportunity to revisit "the road not taken" in which the author writes about retirement and job satisfaction. A medical rendition of A Pirate Looks at Forty, if you will. About how the choices seem clearer in the present than they did in the past. And sometimes we regret our choices. Did I take the correct "road in the woods"? The road that led to medical school, then to surgery, then to residency, and finally where I am today. I seem to think so, but only time will truly tell
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