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Free Advice is Worth What You Pay for It....

Posted Aug 07 2012 8:35am
Recently my older brother Steven and I were having a discussion about the Internet and this Blog in particular. He wondered why I spent so much time and effort responding to posts from patients all over the country and the world whom I would never meet face to face. In addition, we discussed the fact that I often referenced Mom and Dad in my posts and shared my grief over her final illness and passing at the end of May.

Honestly, the whole blog thing is out of character for me. In fact, I am a rather introverted person. I do not do well at cocktail parties and have a real problem putting names and faces together...although I pretty much have my kids down pat at this point...more or less. Yet my profession requires me to delve into the most intimate of details when working with a couple. Few issues are as difficult to discuss as those concerning reproduction and family building. Money is another one and as many of our treatments are not covered by insurance, money enters into the decision making as well!

As a 3rd generation physician I have an old-fashioned view of the doctor-patient relationship. I remember asking my Dad one time, as we drove past the Hollow restaurant on Adams Street in Quincy, MA, why we never ate there. He said that it was hard to go there because so many of his patients worked there, ate there or hung out there. I persisted and finally he agreed to take my Mom and me to dinner at the Hollow. It was like seeing the paparazzi descend on Leonardo DiCaprio! I think that he ate only about half of his meal because so many people came over to say "hi" and thank him for being such a great surgeon. That dinner made a real impression on me at the time. To this day my Dad views his identity as physician first and everything else second. Although I have attempted to develop a more balanced identity, I will admit that being a physician is very important as part of my worldview.

So why do I persist in answering post after post on this blog. And why do I drag myself over to Fairfax Hospital early in the morning to lecture to the students and residents. Well, I have always viewed teaching as being a big component of my job as a physician. As DrD states "I teach because someone taught me." As above, I lecture every week to the medical students and residents. I have served as a preceptor for Princeton pre-med students and every summer I have been a speaker at the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine (an organization that encourages high achieving high school students to explore medicine as a career). So I use this blog as means to teach and to educate the 12 people who read this blog regularly. Along the way I try to give some insight into how I think and practice. Sometimes I share some personal history as part of a quid pro quo...."Hi I am Dr. Gordon. How often do you two have sex?" Yikes. What a crazy way to make a living...

So back to my brother Steve. We are very competitive. So competitive that we rarely play one on one games anymore. Plus I hate to beat an old guy. In any case, he was very proud of all the contributions that had been made to the Tufts Medical School Scholarship Fund in memory of my Mom by his professional associates. In particular he said "so where are your internet buddies now?"

Dear Readers, I have never asked for anything from you...until now. If you have found any part of the hundreds of posts on this blog and my answers to questions helpful then please consider a nominal $5 gift to the Tufts Medical School Scholarship Fund in honor of my Mom (Claire Braverman Gordon). Contributions are totally voluntary and I will continue to answer all questions to the best of my ability..but I really hate to lose to my big brother...

Claire Braverman Gordon Memorial Scholarship Fund
Tufts University School of Medicine
Office of Development & Alumni Relations
136 Harrison Ave.
Boston, MA 02111
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