My patients need me
“All healthcare workers have a pathological need to be needed.” I'm not sure where I heard that, but I find a lot of truth in it. It explains why we are all so happy to give up fairly important things - having a life, for example - in return for the opportunity to run down corridors with a serious expression and a white coat on. We actually enjoy it.
I suppose you could describe any career choice as a sickness, whether it's a need for money, travel, or whatever. But in medicine I think it is a particularly useful idea as it does much to redress the imbalance of power between the professional and the patient. Both have a need for the other. It belies the myth of martyrdom that medics often use to avoid pain and difficulty in their personal lives: “I know you want a divorce, but I