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26hr photo project: "I'm trying to focus on the good things. But it's hard."

This photo series by a resident doctor in Vancouver documents the stories of physicians before and after their call.
By: Rebecca Hay
December 14, 2020
Photo: Rebecca Hay (Instagram)

Dr. Caitlin Marchak says: "Overall, entering into medicine, I don't think I knew what I was signing up for. I don't think you know all the things you are giving up when you go into residency. You are with people on their worst day, every day, and you have to be your best self every single day. I do think it's a privilege, and you get this insight into someone's world and someone's life and that fosters a huge amount of empathy and understanding I may not have gained had I not been in medicine, but it's really hard and takes a lot out of you.

"I feel really blessed to have so many people in my life, but I do constantly feel like a disappointment, because I'm not present as much as I wish I could be. I just don't have the hours and I am stretched so thin. It's a hard thing to sit with, knowing you are disappointing loved ones, because you have to be present at work for someone else's loved one.

"This is a hard thing for us to talk about. Wellness is put on our doorstep as something on our to-do list, and when we're not well, it's because we're not working hard enough on it.

"I'm trying to focus on the good things. But it's hard." Swipe to see Dr. Marchak before and after call (after shown first here).

About 26hr photo project: Photographer Rebecca Hay is a resident physician training in Paediatrics in Vancouver. "Physicians commonly work shifts up to 26 hours long—often without breaks or sleep, caring for families and vulnerable people. A lot can happen in that time, both beautiful and exhausting. I started the photo project "26hr" to highlight the human aspect of medicine and the incredible people working these shifts, and to explore their stories and perceptions."

Rebecca is on Instagram as @liferecaptured.

Tags
doctorsmed studentsheartwarming

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