Injuries and sickness don’t take the holidays off, and neither do many doctors. For many medical professionals, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, or New Years is just another day at the office. With the fall and winter holiday season upon us, we asked physicians,
Which holidays are you working?
4814 physicians from 55+ countries responded:
When discussing this work, some doctors recalled special patients they worked with over the holidays, and others recounted times they or their family were the patients on a holiday. Many doctors are able to find silver linings when working on holidays, although it takes them away from their own families:
“Working holidays engenders camaraderie. The flip side is time away from family.” – Emergency Medicine
“I find working on holidays strangely rewarding. Especially on occasions like Christmas a certain festive spirit seems to permeate even the ER.” – Emergency Medicine
“The thing I like most about working holidays is that it feels rewarding and somewhat noble to be able to help those who find themselves needing medical attention when everyone else is celebrating the occasion with family and friends.” – Emergency Medicine
“Favorite thing about being a dr during the holidays is helping my fellow man.” – Internal Medicine
“I worked pretty much every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, for most of the past 45 years.” – Emergency Medicine
“Most holidays I find people are more talkative and friendly. I must admit some even appreciate you seeing them on holidays. The downside is my family is always not happy about me working.” – Cardiology
“I missed Thanksgiving dinner once making sure a patient with met breast cancer had her pain controlled. She and her children thought I was the greatest doctor since Marcus Welby.” – Hematology Oncology
“Nobody wants to be in the hospital on a Holiday unless they really are in great need of medical care. That means that the patients in the hospital are really, really sick and in great need of help and care and the personnel may become overwhelmed, especially if they are not well staffed.” – Ophthalmology
“My favorite thing is to share holidays with my co-workers and find a fun way to celebrate the special occasion together.” – General Practice
“I love to see the people’s emotional thankfulness being helped during holidays.” – Dermatology
For physicians, finding a balance between work and spending time with family is harder than it is for many other professionals, and that is even more true as we enter the holiday season. Regardless, when patients need help and care – even if its on Christmas Eve – doctors will be there to support.
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