I have been in private medical practice for 15 years. I finished my specialty training in Internal Medicine in 1995. The patients I met during my early practice in their 60s then are now nearing their 80s, the age that many patients succumb to death. Last month, an 81 year old patient died, partly because of old age.
Being my patients for 10, 15 years, they are like family to me. I don't only know their names but I recognize their voices as well. They have shared their happiness and sorrows, their successes and frustrations. These make it harder to let them go.