Friday, April 13, 2012

Perils of Partnership

Before I begin, is anyone else flashing back to Data from "The Goonies?" "Pinchers of Peril! I've been saved by my Pinchers of Peril!" Anyone? Just me? Ah, well.

So, hi! I guess working full time, having a 4 year old and an almost 8 (!) year old in multiple activities, actually having a bit of a social life from time to time, and experiencing a intense sense of perfectionism if I do have the chance to write = no blogging for me.

We've been keeping very busy in the practice, and I have been navigating the waters of working with a large group of physicians, who may or may not treat patients in the exact way that I would treat them. Sometimes, with the really complicated patients, it almost feels like a game of "hot potato," with each physician hoping that they are not the one left "holding the bag," so to speak. I've never experienced this to such a degree, and there is one culprit who rises to mind beyond the others. It really ruffles my feathers, because I was always trained to do the best thing for the patient at the time, even if it was inconvenient for you, as the physician. I don't know if this is something that comes with being older in practice, more burnt out, perhaps? Being one of the junior partners, I can't help but feel, at times, that I am expected to "prove myself" to the more senior physicians in the group, by working just a little harder, complaining a little less, and dealing with getting the less than desirable cases. Kind of like being a glorified resident in many respects, and, let me tell you, that is d*mn tough to swallow. I also feel like I have to fight to bring up to date practice standards into the group managed patients, in this, I am having some success. This makes me happy because I think it benefits all of our patients. I am really hoping to adjust the way that we see patients while on-call, and have been hashing out some ideas to discuss in some upcoming meetings. I am happy to say my schedule is always full, but this is also daunting, because sometimes it is over-full (am I forever doomed to struggle with scheduling issues??), and I have had patients tell me it is difficult to get an appointment with me. I suppose all of these issues are swirling around my brain because in a few short months I will have the opportunity to become a full partner in the business, and I don't know what I don't know.

I'm excited and nervous to make the next big step in my career. Any wise words from those who have gone before me? Any questions to ask? Things I need to know before signing the dotted line?

Monday, January 23, 2012

Call Hierarchy of Needs

Now that I am not on call, all day, every day, I have found there is a certain behavioral pattern emerging on my call days. Something similar to Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs," if you will.

First Goal - Be able to leave the hospital. You may laugh, but some days it is d*mn near impossible to do. I am always figuring and re-figuring in my head if I am going to be able to go home that night, or if I will wind up being stuck until after office hours the next day.
*First goal bonus if I am able to leave the hospital before my children's bedtime, so much the better to actually *see* them.

Second Goal - Shower at home. This seems like an odd one, I know, but I *hate* to shower in the hospital call room bathroom. It just is not the same, and it also slightly squicks me out. So if I achieve the first goal, I proceed immediately to goal number 2 as soon as I step foot in the door.

Third Goal - Eat. This rule has stayed the same since residency, "eat when you can."
*Third goal bonus if I actually getting to eat with my family or if I am not eating something like Ramen noodles.

Fourth Goal - Spend (somewhat) quality time with family (while obsessively keeping one eye on the computer L&D and ER census for potential roadblocks to goal number five).
*Fourth goal bonus if I am able to tuck my children in for bedtime and maintain a normal evening routine before getting called back to the hospital.

Fifth Goal - Sleep in my own bed. This one is a bit more elusive, as you can imagine.
*Fifth goal bonus if I get to sleep in my own bed *all night long.* (HA HA! Almost never happens.)
**Extra bonus if I get no pages while I am sleeping in said own bed, and wake up the next day frantically checking my pager to be certain the battery hasn't expired. (Again, elusive.)

Let's face it 5/5 goals happens once in a blue (full) moon. If I am able to achieve 4/5 goals, I feel pretty good about my call night. Satisfaction with the night decreases exponentially with each goal not met, naturally. Before I am derided, of course my ultimate and overriding goal is to provide quality care to my patients...and to sleep in my own bed. :)

**Cross -posted at Mothers In Medicine