Rediscovering a Passion for Medicine
You hear it all the time from doctors — they would never choose medicine if they had it to do all over again. It’s practically a mantra, with the implication being a doctor ain’t it’s all cracked up to be.
It wasn’t long after I started the interview process with The Clark County Medical Society that I quickly realized that CCMS was the best kept medical secret in our community. When I first started this job, I only saw opportunity and I couldn’t understand why more physicians weren’t members, why we didn’t have more updated photos in the directory, and why the general community didn’t know what role CCMS plays in our community -- let alone even know we exist. And, to be honest, I still don’t have all the answers but trust me when I say we are working diligently to change all that -- just wait and see.
But, it didn’t take long to hear stories from physicians citing the sentiment, “If I could do it again I would.” Repeatedly, I heard how challenging it can be to be a doctor, especially at a time like this, and here in Nevada.
At first, I couldn’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t want to be a doctor. From my vantage point, doctors had always been similar to G-d-like creatures; a professional to be respected, admired and appreciated. And, now, I see and hear more about why many of you feel that your path was not what you had expected. Now it’s easy to see the long hours, the legislative, administrative and business model challenges that affect how you treat your patients, and your ever-changing quality of life because of the climate in which you actually practice medicine.
Almost every day I meet a new medical student who is ambitious, eager, inspired, and committed to entering this profession. To answer the call to serve, heal, and care for others. Do they not see the writing on the wall? Or hear that doctors don’t necessarily make “big bucks”, and after years of schooling and training they will be saddled with enormous debt? Do they not understand the days of a physician’s exam room being a sanctuary are being slowly chipped away by legislators and the big business side of medicine?
What is it about being a doctor that continues to drive thousands of smart, talented and accomplished young people apply to medical school? To answer that question, one need not look further than the Clark County Medical Society Recognition Dinner, held at the conclusion of our Youth Mini-Internship Program. During the dinner, a robust open mic conversation took place where each student was given the option to introduce themselves and share their experiences. Many expressed immense gratitude to their physician and CCMS for this once in a lifetime opportunity. Most commented that this solidified their desire to become a physician, and explained how they were touched by the experience and by the CCMS physician volunteers who so generously gave their time and talent to invest in these students’ futures. As I listened to each student share their personal story, I couldn’t help but wonder if all our practicing physicians could only see these kids, hear their enthusiasm, share a day with them – perhaps it would remind you, our members of why you became a physician to begin with. Perhaps their stories could reinvigorate you with why you became a doctor, and why you chose to dedicate your life to service and care for others. And, perhaps if you participated in this program and attended the Recognition Dinner you would see why CCMS is the best kept secret here in Southern Nevada, and why we need you to recommit to this organization and become involved.
The Clark County Medical Society is your voice, your place to share your vision for the future of medicine here in our community with like-minded colleagues and friends, and to ensure then next generation of physicians can continue to build on the legacy you have built. A legacy of a healthy, vibrant community full of qualified, passionate and compassionate physicians who provide top-notch quality health care to this city we all call home.
The challenges facing doctors have never been greater or more complex. Your membership, engagement, and participation in Clark County Medical Society and Nevada State Medical Association committees and programs are the keys to ensuring you have a seat at the table and a voice to protect, enhance, and preserve your profession.
With gratitude and respect,
Alexandra P. Silver
Alexandra P. Silver is the Executive Director of the Clark County Medical Society and can be reached at Alexandra.Silver@clarkcountymedical.org or 702-739-9989 ext. 101