Thursday, October 22, 2009

The flustered physician.

Some days it doesn't take much to get me flustered.

Take today, for instance. I was under the mistaken impression that I didn't have clinic this afternoon. So sitting at my desk after lunch working on some paperwork I got a page to remind me to come to clinic. It was 1:50. Clinic starts at 1:30. Oops. I frantically gather my things, realizing my stethoscope is in the car, along with what I like to call my second brain, my PDA. I especially feel flustered when I don't have my own stethoscope, and without my PDA I can't look up drug dosages very easily. But since I'm 20 minutes late already, I don't feel like I have time to walk to my car which is in the absolute farthest away corner of the parking lot.

I get to clinic to find that everyone else is flustered too. One of my regular nurses was on vacation. Our nurse manager was gone. And everyone's schedule is really busy. Even though I'm 20 minutes late, there is only 1 patient in a room, and I'm immediately asked to see 2 siblings of another of my scheduled patients. Of course I don't mind, since they are my patients and it doesn't make any sense to split siblings up between two doctors, but I hate feeling like I'm going to be behind all day. I hate feeling like I have to rush through patient visits so I don't get more behind.

I don't want for my patients to notice how flustered I am. I want to be efficient, but not dismissive. In spite of my little rant today, I really do enjoy clinic - I love getting to know my patients, treating their problems, seeing them get better. I just need to deal a little better with the frustrations that come my way. I still have a lot to learn.

I guess I should start by remembering to show up for clinic.

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