I’m still here and it’s 7:13. (My office).
I’m still here because I spent 3/4 of my “research” day today taking care of patients.
I’m still here despite a 35-50 minute commute home, more work to do when I get there, as well as a wake-up time of 5:20 a.m.
I’m still here because I went to see an outpatient of mine who was admitted today. I went after our afternoon conference, around 6 p.m (after calling to talk with another patient about labs). I did it because it needed to be done. It couldn’t be done by the housestaff or the hospitalists. It couldn’t be done by the inpatient GI consult team. I went because it was appropriate for me to go.
It’s my job. It’s the right thing to do. It was what the patient needed.
I have my board exams in 5 days. Failing that test would be catastrophic and cost thousands of dollars. I should be studying, but I’M STILL HERE.
I don’t have kids yet because I devoted my entire young life to my career (so I don’t have to pick anyone up from daycare at 6p.m). I lived 800 miles away from my (now) husband for 4 years for my career. It was an honor to be accepted to my fellowship, so much so I put up with 48 hour visits and thousands of dollars in plane flights just to stay in that program. My husband sacrificed as well.
I work between 65 and ~85 hours a week. In fellowship, my “duty hours” took me well beyond the 80 hour limit.
Can I keep this up forever? Hell no. Do I intend to? Uh uh. I will never shirk my duties to my patients, but I’ll fight tooth and nail for a balanced life so that I can provide the best care to those patients. My sound mental health allows me to minister to their mental health (and their gut).
For a previous generation of physicians (recent blog post from @skepticscalpal and NY times op-ed from a fellow female doc) who doubt my generation’s motivation and dedication to our jobs, I say this:
I’m still here.
(and now it’s 7:45, sigh)test Filed under Genteel Health | Comment (0)