A good piece by Sunrise Rounds on the practice of oncology (or hematology, or medicine in general). Quote:
On the other hand the continuous evolution in this complicated area of medicine means that you can never know everything, need to appreciate your own limits, and must be ready to adjust quickly, intellectually and emotionally, when you make mistakes. As a great teacher once told me, the emotional soul of the practice of medicine is “fear and guilt.” Fear for the mistakes you will make, guilt for the ones you have already made….
Finally, for the doctor there is the honor, given by society, to work in a special place, an “unknown country” where few people normally tread. A place of hope and of suffering; A place of victory, and of absolute defeat; A place of deep love and of infinite hate, for a disease which takes so much; A place where there is much that the doctor can do and very much he can not; A place where the value of life is never more understood, and a place where death is never more near. For the oncologist there is a sacramental obligation to his fellow man, carried deeply in his heart and which carries him during the toughest times.