Hey, I really liked this post!
I absolutely agree with you that it is humbling to hear of a medical doctor’s own struggles with health despite his extensive training surrounding the subject. It’s something that nobody would really expect, since we all want our doctors to somehow be super-humans with super-bodies and super-brains too.
/ I mean c’mon, is that too much to ask? /
Of course! The burnout experienced in the medical profession is insane, and this is partly due to the crazy expectations placed on them in a system that doesn’t allow them to care for everyone that walks into their clinics. Like Tweedy mentioned on his rural rotation, there are people who can only visit the doctor once a month with chronic illnesses and the doctors they see aren’t always able to prescribe them what they need due to insurance issues. Structural issues like these seem to be everywhere, and I loved how you related it to his quote about facing his family’s past. Truly, chronic health problems like hypertension of mental health issues can be intergenerational because they are comprised of an extra-biological social component in addition to just genes being passed down from parent to child. Factors like income are determinative when it comes to health, and class mobility in America is extremely difficult when those living in poverty are often denied the resources to lift themselves out of it. Often times they’re disadvantaged even further by poorer education, welfare services with myopic criteria, and a lack of access to affordable healthcare. I guess your post just really made me think about how great it is that Tweedy’s education allowed him to reconcile his family’s past health issues, but how many people sadly don’t share this same experience.