A Difficult Week.

The office has been in some turmoil these past few weeks.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, I walk in today to find that one of my secretaries decided to take the day off  with no notice. Just a message on voice mail that she was sick with a “stomach thing.”  Oh, and did I mention it’s the Friday before a long weekend and I’m working alone in the office today, covering 3 practices?

I’m tired.

I’m grumpy.

I’m pissed off with my staff.

I hate being a boss. I don’t want to deal with delinquent staff who think it’s okay to just call in “sick”, especially on a long weekend, when it’s so bloody obvious that she was fine yesterday and suddenly got a “stomach thing”!  Not to mention the fact that she had a 3 day weekend last week!  I have enough to deal with and don’t really want to be doing her job as well as mine today!

I’m also pissed off with myself.  Something came to light regarding a patient that has me completely freaked out that I might be named in a lawsuit and though I did everything I could to rectify the situation, in the end, after a series of miscommunications and communication breakdown between myself, the patient, the specialist and the hospital, I may just end up losing a lovely family to another physician.  I feel sick inside.

Us doctors, we’re not perfect. I know, shocking right?  Sometimes things get missed.  Mistakes happen.  And though I haven’t done anything horrible like leaving a surgical instrument in someone’s chest,     how I am feeling right now, I might as well have.  I am being pretty hard on myself, I know, it’s just who I am.

I am mad.  I want to be a perfect doctor.  I don’t ever want to make a mistake or miss a diagnosis.  I’m supposed to be the expert.  But try as I might to be perfect in this job, I have been reminded just how much I’m not.  It stings like a sonofabitch. I am managing over 900 patients with their test results, consult letters, referrals and office visits.  To say it’s challenging is an understatement.  Ugh, it sounds like I’m trying to make excuses.

Truth is,  I have no excuse.

This is my job.  I should be more vigilant. More cautious. More attentive.

Lesson learned. But at what cost?

4 thoughts on “A Difficult Week.

  1. Mimi,

    You are one of the most intelligent and beautiful women I know. I have no doubt that your job is a difficult one but you said it yourself, everyone makes mistakes. I am sure you are an incredible doctor and I know for a fact that you always have the health of your patients on your mind. I have witnessed you on vacation making phone calls to patients. Remind yourself of all the good that you have done and continue to do. I wish I had you as my physician.

    • Thank you! After speaking with other good friends and my husband, I am feeling much better about the situation. I am so lucky to have such an incredible support system.

  2. sorry to be weighing in so late… i am glad your support network kicked in. it is so hard to be a primary care doc. we are human, operating within a highly flawed system. things can and will fall through the cracks; miscommunications will occur. It’s not an If, it’s a When. I think the best we can do is practice with heart. Be present with our patients, do our best when we can, and try to make it right when we can’t. – genmedmom

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