So, alas, all good things must come to an end, and I am on call once again. I am taking call for OtherDoc, as well, not only for the weekend but until I leave town for Thanksgiving on Wednesday; he is on vacation this week. I know that I have bitched multiple times over about how very much I dislike taking call for his patients, but get ready to hear some more.
I think, scratch that, *know* that the man is seriously overburdened with patients (60-80/day!!) and I am quite sure that I wouldn't know my own ass from a hole in the ground if I were that busy, but he lets his patients run his life...and now they are trying to run mine. He is more than, shall we say, liberal with narcotic pain medications. Aw, face it, he hands it out like candy! It never fails, as soon as I take over his calls the pages for narcs begin. I can't stand seeking. It truly makes my blood boil, but I calmly state that I will not prescribe narcotic medications to patients that I haven't seen or examined personally. (Even then I rarely give narcotic meds, truth be told.) You should hear the stories, and if you work in the medical field, you probably do. Today it was, well OtherDoc gave me a prescription for (name your favorite narc here) and said I could have a refill, but he didn't mark the refill, so you just need to call it in (sic!). Ummm, sorry honey, but no. I'd be happy to call you in some Nap.rosyn for your pain until you can get to the office to be seen, though. Silence...then click. Sigh.
Even better still, OtherDoc had scheduled an elective term primip for induction of labor earlier in the week. The reason for induction? Well, because he was going out of town, of course. Labor and delivery has been insanely busy, so this elective induction got bumped, not once, but twice due to people being in actual (gasp!) labor. The news, each time, was met with shrieks and screaming at our office staff and labor and delivery, but there was nothing that could be done to accommodate her for her very elective (and early, at 38 weeks) induction.
The patient then decided that she wanted me to induce her on Monday, since I was covering OtherDoc. Never mind that I have never once met this woman nor examined her. Never mind that I truly don't *do* truly elective inductions because of the risks associated with them. *She* had already started her disability leave from work, thus she needed to have the baby now. (Priorities much?) Other Doc actually tried to guilt me into doing it, too! Her due date isn't even until the end of the month!
Could you just imagine, should the induction go awry, the cross examination? Dr. Whoo, why was this induction scheduled? Oh, the patient was tired of being pregnant? Hmm, that's not an ACOG approved indication for induction. Had you ever met this patient prior to *pumping her full of drugs to hasten a premature delivery*? On and on and on! Oh, by the way, drop your license at the door on your way out. I'd be painted in the media as "just another doctor" trying to screw up how women give birth. ('Cause, you know, all evil OBs really want to do is c-sections...all the better to ruin your "birth experience" my pretties! Cackling! Evil! Laughter!) But, I digress...Guess what my answer was? That's correct! It was a resounding "No!" I will be seeing her for an office visit this week, however, if she decides to show up. We shall see.
I am disconcerted at how browbeaten I feel by patients on such occasions. It shouldn't be so antagonistic to practice good medicine. One of my favorite attendings used to say, "This isn't Burge.r K.ing; you can't have it *your* way!" Only more and more often, it seems, you can! I fear for the future of my profession. Dr. Google-topia is closer than we think. Eep.
In other news, Mr. Whoo and CindyLou are wending their way to the grandparent's house, far, far away. Bean and I will be flying to meet them on Wednesday, since I have very little remaining time off, what with maternity leave and all. Yes, I *am* taking call for myself and OtherDoc alone, with a baby, for four days...is that crazy? I think, yes. Happy Weekend!