Cure sometimes, treat often, comfort always.” — Hippocrates
This sage wisdom from the Father of Western Medicine has been a guiding principle of my life since I made the decision to enter the field of emergency medicine over a quarter century ago. As a newly-minted EMT back in the summer of 1992, I was convinced that my Emergency Medical Technician certification was the gateway to heroically saving my friends and neighbors in their times of need. I was full of knowledge, perhaps a little overly-confident in my psychomotor skills, and would sit for hours, staring at the little black pager, willing it to go off so I could race to the ambulance station at the local hospital, turn on the lights and siren, and cure every injury, heart attack, and other malady du jour that was screaming out my name. Mostly, I just wanted to “make a difference.” And I suspect that this is the primary motivation that drives most paramedics, EMTs, and first responders to do what we do. We simply want to make a difference in our communities and in the lives of those we care most deeply about.