Oral History

Highlights from the oral history interview with Carola Eisenberg

"I felt very strongly after hearing one student after another, that would come and talk to me and say, “My parents wondered whether I should be a physician, the investment of everything - money, time, energy. And the profession is changing, and will I be able to have the income to pay the debts, and we don't know where the changes are going, and the patients don't respect the doctors the way they used to. And I wonder why I didn't listen to my parents, because now doctor so and so said, I'm not going to recommend to my children to go into medicine.” These were the men that were supposed to be mentors. And I heard it so many times that I got tired to hear those people were creating doubts on a few, just a few medical students. … That's why. I just felt that I had to tell, at the larger level, how I felt about medicine. And I felt and I feel and I will always feel that it is a privilege to be a physician. I have experiences, so many and many of them, where I felt that an individual has opened their heart, and they were telling me things that they never told any human beings, that they were trusting me. They have hopes that I will be able to help them. They became individuals that were suffering, but gave me the opportunity to help them. And by helping them, I help myself in some ways, or reinforced my compassion in that way and my empathy for the suffering. That's a better way. It wasn't because they were helping me - because I extracted from them something that I needed - but I felt that trust in that way was just an enormous privilege."

- Carola Eisenberg, on choosing the title "Why it's Still A Privilege to Be a Physician," and what that says about the medical community in general


For the complete audio of the oral history, click here and scroll down to the playlist.

For a full transcript of this oral history, click here.