What A Dying Patient Taught A Burned-Out Doctor

Every doctor has patients we will remember forever for the experiences they bring: the first baby we deliver, the first heart murmur we detect, the first surgery we perform on our own.

Every doctor also has patients we will remember forever for the other kinds of experiences they bring: complaints about everything during every visit or disparaging posts of dissatisfaction when the patient fails to follow our advice.

But the patients who truly live on in each of us are those who truly touch our hearts.

I’ve been fortunate to have many such patients over the years: kind patients who ask about my family, patients who bring homemade treats and vegetables from their gardens. Once, a fisherman from Alaska brought a salmon.

Yet no one made a stronger impression on me than Mr. Johnson.