Today, my Sunday morning started with text messages from several people. "You're in the paper." "Check out Inquirer." "You have a picture in Inquirer page8". Thinking about the First Gentleman scholarship program for specialists which has received a bit of newspaper space several times for the past month and with my name or at best my face the size of a nail receiving a few inches of precious newspaper space, I shrugged and concluded, "Ahh, after the 1 million peso dinner in New York, the president probably wants to tell the world they're spending good money for a good cause, at my expense."
I was wrong. Lo and behold, the story was in the front page, and my picture was a huge one. Here's a link to that story. The on-line version has no pictures but this is the best available.
My point is I don't deserve this. Melanie's story is real and there are hundreds of people behind the success. All I did was do my job. During my last conversation with my good friend J, I whined and complained about having to do all those things. I almost cried because I was so tired. And when my friend asked me, "So why do all those? What's so special about that patient?" I just said, "I guess I have no choice. The matter is already in my hands. I can't say 'no' anymore."
So when I saw my face on the Sunday Inquirer, I couldn't be proud at all. If my friend J reads that story, he would have laughed. He would have recalled how I fought with Melanie and her mom and how I dreaded having to reply to text messages from them in the wee hours of morning. He would have known the hesitation, the agony, the exhaustion behind that smile. He would have known I'm not a good Samaritan at all.
As for me, how can I bask in pride over a job well-done and national publicity while the real heroes continue to do their tasks quietly. If all the hard work of our PGH consultants, fellows, residents and even students get recognized, we would have volumes and volumes of books about them. Our profession, our strategic postion in the scheme of things makes it inevitable for us to save lives, and lose some too.
Seldom do we get into the papers for doing our jobs. I guess it just so happened that today, I just did. But I'm no hero. I was just doing my job.