Thanksgiving is one of the holidays I enjoy most every year. It isn’t overhyped and over-commercialized like Christmas or Valentine’s Day. It focuses on family and food; both of which are extremely important to me. Thanksgiving also hasn’t become so politically correct that we can’t talk about the values behind the holiday: being thankful for what we have in our lives.

As physicians we spend a lot of time focused on the negatives of declining reimbursement, burdensome administrative chores and the ever-increasing regulations handed down by people who have no idea what it means to practice medicine on a daily basis. Of course if you are in the business of medicine, then these can’t be ignored, at least not for long. However, it is nice to reflect on the reasons that many of us went into medicine. We value helping people. We value improving quality of life. We value making a difference in the world around us.

We can be extremely thankful that no matter what goes on in Washington or with insurance careers, we are still able to impact our patients’ lives for the better. I’m thankful for each time a patient expresses gratitude for the care I, or my team, provided. I’m thankful for staff who do go above and beyond to help me provide great care for patients. Despite all the challenges we face, I am still extremely thankful I have the opportunity to be a physician. It is an amazing career field that is constantly developing, innovating and offering more opportunities to impact the lives of those people we serve.

I am also thankful that I get the chance to meet many amazing and talented physicians in my other roles. Writing gives me a chance to connect with physicians all around the world. I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak to groups and share what I have learned on topics like leadership and communication in healthcare. I’m grateful for colleagues who allow me the opportunity to help them grow their practice and impact their career through coaching.

There are many reasons I am thankful that I am a physician. In fact, I wouldn’t have it any other way. What is it about our chosen profession that you are most thankful for?