Archives for June 17, 2002

Consults and Pain

I had today the worst Consult Day I’ve had at the new job. I consulted several physicians in various fields, and a few distinguished themselves by coming in and taking care of people who were ill and needed inpatient care. They will be rewarded in the afterlife if I have any input. Thank you for putting your patients ahead of yourselves.
The ones I dwell on, and the ones I’m making a list for in Hell should I be designated Tour Director there, were painful to deal with in the following ways:
a) the Prima Donna, never happy with anything, yelling and causing strife for the sake of their own vanity: “I’m Important”, they shout, through imperious demands and browbeatings. (I exacerbated this problem by not playing the game, forcing a fellow, more experienced Emergency Physician to take the heat for unnecessary lab results not being on the chart). This was all the more ridiculous, as the imperious Important Consultant hadn’t even bothered to interview or examine the patient. A patient who needed an operation, not a lab result (normal, by the way, as expected).
b) the I Cannot Believe I Have to Take Call for This: nice fellow who works for a living with a problem appropriately and by standard of care ALWAYS treated by this speciality. The pain of listening to this millionaire physician ‘colleague’ run on at the mouth about how hard their 1 day in X call is, and how unfair it is that they have to take care of this, and “…why can’t (another, severely undercompensated and overworked speciality) admit this”, etc. I listened to five continuous minutes of this whining prior to finally getting them to do the right thing (on the second call). All the while aghast at the irony of listening to someone making about five times my income bitch about taking care of a patient who needed care, who I see because it’s my job.
c) the ‘oh, we fired him from our practice, doesn’t matter what he has now’ consultant. Initially defiant about admitting a ventilated patient with a problem clearly part of their speciality, using the ‘non-compliant patient’ dodge to push this patient onto another physician (who was distinguished by not batting an eye to take care of an ill person who needed a Doctor, not an excuse).

OK, here’s the deal. Doctors are Big Winners in the Life Lottery, and Noblesse Oblige should be our life’s motto. Whining is for losers and sissies, and does the profession and patients a disservice. They deserve better.

Today, so did I.

Update: it occurs to me, on review, that this looks like whining, making me a loser by my own definition. As I’m not a loser, I will clarify my definition: Whining about taking care of patients is the problem. My whining is different, see?