On Call

by Emma in


It's Sunday night, and while most people are watching football, reading a good book, or bathing their children, there's a scientist in a lab somewhere trying to cure a disease that you or someone you love a) had, b) has, or c) may have in the future. The scientist gets calls in the middle of the night and drives bleary-eyed to the university to work with a team of medical professionals to transplant organs. Organs! The scientist's vocation is life-saving, but not without cost. The scientist checks voicemails during date night, misses his wife's holiday party more often than not, and tends to subsist on caffeine and ramen-type substances while stuck at the lab. And he's certainly not alone. There are countless other doctors, nurses, and researchers just like him—people who push their bodies and brains to the limit in pursuit of medical breakthroughs. The drugs, devices, and procedures that will answer the prayers of perfect strangers.

My scientist—the tall, good-looking father of my children—worked too much this week. His weekend was virtually non-existent, but as usual, he didn't complain. And while his nightmare of a schedule frustrates me at times, what can I say? He's doing something that matters, something for which I'm sure we're all grateful. So thank you to my favorite scientist and the people like him around the world. It's sometimes a thankless job, but your personal sacrifices will not be in vain.

*****

I Want to Know

Are there any medical professionals (or other "on-call" types) in your life? What medical breakthrough do you most hope to see in your lifetime?

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