The following is not FACTUALLY accurate. Details have been changed, things deleted, stuff made up, all to protect identity. But it is 100% absolutely true.
".....well, we can't all be rich doctors," the patient said smugly.
Timeout. I've had it with patients thinking that I'm doing this for the money. They have no idea the hell I've been through, and continue to go through to do this. It's time for some patient education.
"This is not my first career. I was the primary breadwinner with a respectable salary and a comfortable lifestyle. I quit and chose to do this because it was my calling."
"Ah, that's what all the doctor's say until they're driving fancy cars," the patient still a skeptic.
"Let me put into numbers, because I've done the math. I've given up XXX of a million dollars when I add up lost salary and student loans, never mind the personal sacrifices. If I'm doing this for the money, I need to rethink my math. Do you still think I'm doing this for the money? Or, perhaps is it because it really is my calling?" I respond firmly.
The patient is caught off guard and to their credit says, "a doctor who actually cares? They still exist?"
"Yes, in fact, we do still exist."