Sunday, November 11, 2007

Here again

"Time flies," is my thought looking at the two months that have lapsed since I last wrote a line here. Possibly you thought that I had retired. I considered it. No, not from writing. I plan to do more if I ever do retire. I did spend some of this time contemplating what it would be like to leave medicine. As I have with most monumental decisions I made a list of pros and cons. What is it that I love and what is it that I hate about what I do.

I love the patients. Even the many of the annoying ones have moments of gratefulness. This still surprises and delights me.

I hate paper work. I can see that becoming paperless is more efficient and I hope I live to enjoy a day when everything is on a computer. I know, the power may go off. To let you in on a well kept secret, we lose pieces of paper too.

I love the thrill of making a diagnosis. Putting the pieces together, talking to the patient, doing the exam, ordering the tests and coming up with the answer.

I hate giving people a bill. I would welcome a single payer health system that would allow me to practice the best medicine on all who would trust me to be their physician. The problem is that this would also bring a severe rationing of care because cost.

I love seeing people get better. Better has different definitions depending on the patient and their disease. For some it is a complete recovery. For others it is acceptance of the condition that will be with them until they die.

I hate the fact that medicine takes up so much of my time. Little is left for pursuits outside of the practice of medicine. When I take the time to write I feel I am stealing from my family. Everything that I have done outside of medicine feels this way.

I love the challenge of my work, at least the part of that work that is direct patient care. As long as that is the majority of what I do, I will continue. And continue to feel blessed to have such a vocation.
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