THE DISTRACTIBLE ZONE
The Distractible Archives
It was 6:30 AM. I heard the garbage truck pull up in front of my house. Crap. I hadn’t put the trash out the day before, but usually that wasn’t a serious problem; they usually come much later in the day. I ran to the front of my house and looked out. The truck was pulling away.
Sigh. It was not a good way to start the day.
For those wanting my clinical opinions and thoughts as the COVID-19 crisis evolved, I’ve been keeping a blog on my practice website to educate my …
In case you missed the news: there’s a new virus in town…and they named it after a cruddy beer!!
All of the hype surrounding the coronavirus has created a new and difficult situation for me, my staff, and on doctors around the world. How do we answer our patients who are terribly afraid of what they are hearing? China is quarantined, the Olympics might get cancelled, Oprah has been crowned Empress of civilization…OK, that Oprah thing is no true, but the rest is pretty scary. Is it hype that we should downplay, or is it seriously scary stuff that we should warn our patients, our friends, and our families about?
Welcome to Hell
While my practice doesn’t accept money from insurance companies, we do serve our patients for the sake of their health. This means that we advocate on their behalf in a system that seems hell-bent on making care less accessible. Prior-auth hell is one example of this wall that has been built up between people and reasonable care. Electronic medical record hell, pharmacy trickery hell, specialist non-communication hell, bloated hospital gouging hell, media non-story hype hell, and opportunist alternative medicine hell are all contributors to the hell-fire heat we are all feeling.
Burned by Caring
The real problem was that I cared too much. I couldn’t short-change the patient once I was with them in the exam room. I couldn’t force them to only give me one problem, make them reschedule for something I could handle that day, or refuse to check the ear of the child who happened to be in the exam room with the patient. I am a caretaker. I am a giver. Yeah, I get taken advantage of because of that, but I thrive off of taking care of people. It’s what gets me out of bed in the morning. It’s what I’m on this planet to do.
And I was being robbed of that.