Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cognitive Dissonance

I am in love with the old ways.

The wheels of my car struggle to grip the powdery snow of the unplowed highway. The sun's absence attests to the premature beginning of my Saturday morning. My wife and children are asleep quietly in their beds. Most of the world is in fact sleeping. Already, my dance card is full. Between two hospitals and three nursing homes, a number of crises are brewing. By the mornings end, I will sit by the bedside as one patient dies. I will have family meetings, make critical decisions, review labs and talk to specialists.

Unlike many of my colleagues, I still practice in the office, nursing home, and hospital. Even on the weekend. Whether on call or not. I will wake up in the middle of the night. I will go to sleep too late and rise far to early. My fatigue will be interrupted by flashes of wondrous energy. Day in and day out. I have found no other way.

I consider myself a modern man.

My wife and children form the nucleus of my daily activities. I try to be as involved as possible. Dinners at home, violin practice, nightly homework all interrupted by the nagging mistress hanging on my belt loop, the wanting mobile infidel.

I write, I blog, I tweet. I use the latest in EMR technology.

I don't know how to weather the changes that are coming quickly upon us. Once I bowed at the alter of diagnostic accuracy. Now, I realize that there are many parts to effective doctoring. Shared experience, understanding, and lasting bonds are often what I think most are in search of. These things take time. Time often given during nontraditional hours. Time when one should be with their family, sleeping, or even having fun.

I don't know how to choose the way forward. I don't know how to be a guide down roads that I have never travelled. For now I will continue to make my early morning trips, my tires trampling through the unplowed snow...

Making paths where none yet exist.


jimbo26 said...

When the time is ready , you will find the path .

Anonymous said...

Make sure your wife and kids know that people honor their sacrifice of an "old time" doctor. Those who receive your care are grateful.

Shaun said...

You are a rare doctor like my husband, (I too am a physician and know the demands on your time well) but you need to take care of yourself or eventually (probably sooner rather than later) you will be unable to continue to be as good to your family and patients. Have you had your CRP checked? Might be a good idea since it sounds like you are burning the candle at all 12 ends!

Anonymous said...

You, are too far and few between, so bless your heart, and a simple two heartfelt words...

"Thank You"