My Daughter, the Doctor

My Daughter, the Doctor

Three years ago, I wrote an article for Hispanic Outlook entitled, “The Impact of a Good Doctor”  and chronicled my daughter’s medical school journey with the hope of inspiring other prospective students on what truly has been an arduous journey for this future doctor.

As I reflect on Dr. Talia Torres (which is the FIRST time I’m writing my daughter’s newest prefix in a published article), this has been a surreal moment for an absolutely proud father who the newly christened physician has affectionately called Papi her entire life.

There was a specific reason behind the above title that shouldn’t diminish the importance of what every medical professional should strive to be in this important occupation. I could have easily selected descriptive words such as extraordinary, exceptional, or phenomenal, but I intentionally chose this particular word in the opening title: Good - which can be defined as acceptable and adequate.

Yet, how do we become great at something? There’s an old adage, “practice makes perfect” but as much as we all wish this was an attainable reality, we must consider our fallibility and accept what we can or cannot control. I’d like to think everyone (especially doctors) want to be considered great.

Nevertheless, the doctor can always strive to improve, but most importantly should never forget to be attentive, be more empathetic, be compassionate, and remember the Hippocratic Oath - to uphold those powerful words they recited during their White Coat Ceremony. 

To not only be good. . . but great.

As the father of two adult children, I am exceptionally proud of my daughters but I also know the complexity of becoming a physician first hand when my oldest daughter was faced with an inordinate amount of exams, lack of sleep, round-the-clock studying, bombarded with every imaginable roadblock and the questions/doubts that easily popped into her mind. 

Quietly, I’m sure she asked herself if it’s worth it. How much more can I withstand? Am I able to do this? She knew there were many who supported this “rite of passage,” such as her beloved parents, immediate family, close friends, supportive classmates, teachers, mentors, and even doctors who became her biggest and yes. . . greatest “cheerleaders.”

Before you begin to read this heartfelt narrative about my oldest daughter, I’ll never forget what occurred on May 1, 2021. As my immediate family anxiously gathered around a laptop in our home and extended family members and friends watched from afar, I couldn’t believe what I heard during this year’s Northeast Ohio Medical University’s virtual commencement ceremony. 

The School of Medicine finally announced my daughter’s name: Dr. Talia Torres.

And yes. . . she will be a great doctor.

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