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Dread and Resolve

I’m in clinic all day today and I’m on call tonight.  On call all weekend, actually.

Which means if I don’t finish clinic on time this afternoon, I’ll be running around trying to satisfy a bunch of people who are irritable about waiting, while trying to keep up with the demands of people who couldn’t be bothered to take care of their medical business during business hours.

That’s a nasty way to put it.  But, a surprising proportion of the calls I get are things like “I ran out of the medication that helps me sleep, and want a refill” (at 3 AM).  Um… so why didn’t you look in the bottle a week ago, notice you were running low, and call me for a refill then?

And having realized you screwed up, what piece of logic led you to decide that the doctor who worked just as many hours as you do deserved to lose HER sleep so you wouldn’t lose any of yours?

This is sort of a pre-rant.  I have been thinking about the many conflicting demands of my job – things like “give every patient as much time as s/he needs, but always run on time” – and feeling increasingly irritable with the no-win nature of my job. In order to do some things well, I apparently need to decide to be less than perfect in other areas. So I think I need to start pondering the tradeoffs and coming to some conclusions about the type of imperfect person I want to be – and if I do that here, perhaps others will give me feedback from different points of view.

So, I’m thinking from time to time I’ll report a story that seems unreasonable from my point of view, and see what others think about it. Not sure why I’m announcing it in this way… fair warning, I guess.


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