Fighting for Progress

October 07, 2018
by Mark David Siegel

Hello everyone:

I've spent countless hours over the past two weeks obsessing over residency applications, reviewing all qualifications, from grades to board scores to character.  Nearly 400 interview invitations went out on Friday morning.  

I've also been consumed by the Kavanaugh Supreme Court proceedings, which ended Saturday with the Senate’s confirmation.  I've wrestled with crucial questions, like the impact of trauma on distant memory, and whether adults should be held responsible for childhood offences.  I've debated—mostly respectfully—with people I disagree with and worked hard to prevent Facebook skirmishes from erupting into conflagrations.

Most of you know my political views, but for countless reasons, I choose not to use this space to express partisan opinions.  Instead, I want to highlight universal values, like committing ourselves to honesty, to respect, and to the community’s welfare over narrow self-interest.

I wish the whole country would embrace these values, even if it’s not where we are today.  To many it may seem dark this weekend after the Supreme Court battle, but I know the light will return.  It always does.

We’ve overcome many national crises before: the Civil War, the Great Depression, the McCarthy Hearings, and battles over racial discrimination.  But in the wake of each crisis, there have always been good, courageous people to stand up for what was right.  And eventually they succeeded.  Slavery ended.  Social safety nets were created.  Basic rights were extended to women and people of color.  Same sex marriages became legal.

Progress never comes without a struggle, and each struggle has its setbacks.  This has always been true, and it is true today.  But if we believe in the inherent value of a just society, and commit ourselves to building one, we will eventually succeed.  The work compels us, and the right outcome is inevitable.

Today, let's commit ourselves to the greater good, beginning with this community.  Let’s commit ourselves to our patients, to our neighbors, and to our friends and colleagues.  Let's commit ourselves to truth, to integrity, and to the well-being of the whole over the individual parts.  Let’s not allow national challenges prevent us from fighting for progress, right here, right now.

And now it’s off to the MICU,

Mark

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on October 07, 2018