“I need you to do me a favor,” my nurse asked me at the end of our day on Friday.
“Sure,” I answered. “What do you want?”
“Please have a better week next week,” she said with a pained expression. “I don’t think I can handle another one like this week.”
It was a bad week. There was cancer, there was anxiety, there were family fights, there were very sick children. It’s not that it’s unusual to see tough things (I am a doctor), but the grouping of them had all of us trudging home drained of energy. Spent.
I think this is one of the toughest thing about being a doctor (and nurse, by my nurse’s question): The spending of emotional reserves. I’m not physically active at work, yet I come home tired. I don’t have to be busy to feel drained. It’s not the patients’ fault that I feel tired. They are coming to me to get the service I offer to them, and I think I do that job well. The real problem is in me. The real problem is that I care. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*
I’m going to do something unusual: Reprint in its entirety a commentary from a fourth-year medical student, Jonathan. He posted it in response to comments from other readers to my blog about Dr. Berwick’s commencement address to his daughter’s medical school class.
I tweeted about Jonathan’s post, calling it a needed voice of idealism at a cynical time. This is what Jonathan had to say to his physician colleagues:
“To begin, I am a fourth-year medical student going into primary care and this directly applies to me. We have two options when reading [Dr. Berwick’s] address. We can take, in my opinion, the weak road or the strong road. Our new generation, as well as the one that raised us, is one of apathy and selfishness. We are only concerned about how changes affect us. We have lost the sacrifice and the consideration of our patients and fellow staff. This address, no matter how hard your heart may be, springs up a humanism in you that is undeniable. You can choose to brush it off and make excuses about policies and money, or you can stand up and be the physician that is described. I agree that there are a lot of issues in medicine today (billing, paperwork, bureaucracy to name only a few). However, if those issues render you cold and uncaring, my friend, I strongly suggest you find another profession. This profession is one of nobility. It is one of selfLESSness. This is a high calling. A good book states, ‘To whom much has been given; much will be expected.’ Well, if you are a physician, much has been given to you. What are you going to do with it?”
Today’s question: How would you answer Jonathan?
*This blog post was originally published at The ACP Advocate Blog by Bob Doherty*
Yesterday a much-anticipated package arrived in the mail containing a documentary film directed (and acted) by a young emergency room physician, Ryan Flesher, M.D., and produced by a former clinical social worker, Nancy Pando, L.I.C.S.W. The film is called “The Vanishing Oath.”
As background, the film is a 3-year project born in 2007 just before the great U.S. healthcare reform debate began. Over 200 hours of interviews were conducted to explore a simple question:
Why Dr. Flesher had grown to hate medicine. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Dr. Wes*