Doctoring Health Care Reform Reflection

Patient care is our oasis.

The first order of business today is to point you to an updated version of yesterday’s guest post.

Dr Schloss, the thinker that he is, emailed me an eighth tip for survival in the new healthcare climate. Don’t be surprised if this list grows.

It’s worth quoting:

8.  Take Refuge with your Patients:  Even on the crappiest of crap days, a good face to face patient interaction can change everything.  In the exam room, with the door closed, the rest of the world can melt away.  Nothing feels better than making this connection, and knowing you have changed someone’s life.  This is the part of healthcare delivery no one can touch.  I doubt our regulators have any clue what I’m talking about here, and that’s OK.  It will be our little secret that we guard until the end.

This point deserves emphasis. It is the essence of what keeps us ‘providers’ in the game. It is our fuel. Taking care of patients (people)–with compassion, with hard-won skills and behind the doors of the exam room or EP lab–is the treasure.

Based on recent posts here, it would be reasonable to conclude that the toxicity of the regulatory environment was getting the best of me. The persistent assault on the patient-doctor relationship was exerting its inflammatory effects.

But today was one of those days that made it all worth it. Cocooned away in the EP lab, all we did today was help people. I’d love to tell you the specifics but suffice it to say that today was an awesome experience. The team functioned beautifully. It was just like in fellowship when I would come home and stomp around with excitement about the day’s work. “This is cool sh**!” When people really need EP, it’s immensely gratifying to deliver it. I’m proud of our team effort. And be sure: this is not possible without a team.

We even performed a true emergency procedure. One that immediately saved a life–a rarity for the EP lab. That there wasn’t time to document everything beforehand only intensified the pleasure of the procedure. (Don’t worry, after it was over, we got those boxes checked.)

So my friend Dr Schloss is correct. Taking refuge with our patients continues to trump the take-the-fun-out-of-Medicine tribe.

I won’t quit tonight. I’m in the oasis.


One reply on “Patient care is our oasis.”

Bless you all. My EP certainly helped me feel so much better over a year ago. Keep up the good fight.

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