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    "When many cures are offered for a disease, it means the disease is not curable" -Anton Chekhov

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    Monday, June 30, 2003

    Life’s Lessons: The launching of my independent practice has been teaching me a lot of lessons these past few weeks. I’ve learned just how difficult it is to work with a passive-aggressive personality. I’ve learned that a Medicare provider number is the key that opens all medical reimbursement doors. That it costs more to knock down walls than to build them. That the banker is my friend. And most of all, I’ve learned that a supportive spouse is an asset not to be underestimated.

    I used to sneer at the idea that a spouse could make or break a career. That those old notions of wives being responsible for their husband’s business or political successes were nonsense. Hype put out by divorce attorneys to get their clients good settlements. I even once bought a young doctor manual from the early 1950’s called The Physician and His Practice, in anticipation of a good laugh at the expense of the chapter called “The Doctor’s Wife” . It did not disappoint. Among its gems are these closing lines:

    Physicians are by inclination and training discerning men, wise in human relations and keen in judgement. It would seem logical that such men should make their lifelong alliance with partners of comparable astuteness and wisdom.

    But now I’ve learned that there’s wisdom in that chapter, too, and that I was an arrogant young woman to scoff at the important role of the doctor’s spouse. I’ve learned how important it is to have someone who doesn’t mind handling all the home finances, and yet can resist meddling in office decisions that affect those finances. Someone who doesn’t mind interruptions by phone calls. Who doesn’t mind unexpected delays at the office. Who understands that sometimes you have to make short term sacrifices for long term gains. Who will let you come home and cry on his shoulder, no questions asked. Who can say in all seriousness,“We’ll be OK if we have to sell pencils in the street.” But most of all I’ve learned how important it is to have the kind of spouse who makes statements like that true. And for that, I’ll always be grateful.

    posted by Sydney on 6/30/2003 06:19:00 AM 0 comments


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