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Friends and Family

Friends and Family

Those who spend their lives in social isolation endure more illness
and emotional strife and do not live as long than those with a
healthy social circle [11, 12]. A sound relationship with a significant
other, as well as a richly supportive network of friends and
family confers health benefits, increases longevity and overall
feelings of well-being [13]. Trusted friends give us honest feedback,
provide words of counsel when needed, and simply “cover
our backs.” It is especially important to nourish nonmedical relationships,
where one can get a reprieve from the omnipresence of
patient care discussions.
I have a cadre of friends from the church, from the beach, and
from the second career I have cultivated—stand-up comedy. My
friends provide a quiet stability, a respite from the professional
cacophony we all experience.
As for children, I try to remind myself that I am the only father
my daughters have. My fulfillment of the role of father, in the form
of unwavering unconditional love, supports my own growth and
well-being. Responsible parenting reminds me that my life
does not solely revolve my orthopedic practice. Having children
enhances resiliency for surgeons. Assuming different roles (i.e.,
parent, physician, husband, and community member) diffuses
stress rather than potentiates it. Being a good parent provides meaning
in ways that no material success can. Let your children be your
true mark on the world. Relish and enjoy their successes your entire
lifetime. The roles of father and husband remind us that we are so
much more than physicians. A bad day at the office can be soothed
by a great evening with one’s family.