Physicians Have Many Scars, Why Do We Keep Hurting Eachother?
December 19, 2021
I’m not sure why I am sad this morning. I had a very nice and easy Friday staggered evening pediatric urgent care shift, and got home by 8pm. I used to get in by 10pm with the schedule from the old days. I had the morning to live my life, and got to see the kids and Mr. Plastic Picker off on Friday morning then start work at 1030am. I appreciate that time for whatever you call it, work-life balance, having breakfast, being able to think, self-care. This weekend I’ve been watching Korean dramas still, but I’m done with the last series which was really good. I’m kind of an intense person at times and when I really get into something, I really get into it. Case in point, my 19 year marriage 24 year relationship with my husband, almost at 600 bags of trash collected, acculumating accolades for a resume I don’t need. That intensity I think is important and a reflection of mental health and a soul that is strong.
And I’m not sure why but those intense feelings I’m having are intense saddness still at the middle management meeting we had last week as we were discussing schedules and mundane things. I’ve chosen to be true to myself, and to seek self-awareness and in that awareness I realize how scarred we all are. Senior physicians at meetings saying “we are getting through it, “it’s okay” and platitudes upon platitudes – when all of us know our back stories. A family that was deferred. Relationships and marriages shattered. Meals that were missed. Time. We loss time with family. Many of us didn’t get to see key moments when are children were growing up. And in that loss we all suffered from a medical staffing system that was broken, we weren’t able to be aware of the answers. We weren’t able to see beneath the source of all this scheduling cr@p that was one rogue idea that should have never left the gate. Another true manager that is not a physician or someone with power over our lives that is not one of us, telling us what to do. Why are physicians so scared? Why do people not listen to eachother at meetings? Am I guilty of that too? Did you hear people’s pain? Did you hear the replies that essentially were non-replies?
And most of my saddness were a few phrases that keep on playing back in my mind. I wish this particular meeting was recorded and the replies could be replayed and we could listen again to our back and forth. Perhaps meeting transcripts should be analyzed like Shakpearean verses or passages in hallowed tomes. I think if we dissected our phrases and replies, we’d understand more about why physician burn-out is still a real problem. Why physicians disproportionately get divorced and commit suicide, and why our own children sometimes don’t do well in life because we sometimes work in unbearable conditions. Words make such a difference.
Thank you for continuing to hear my ramblings about life. Here is the beautiful roots of a beautiful gift a neighbor gave to my in-laws. During my now two year foray into gardening, I’ve learned one important fact. The roots of any plant/system have to be healthy. You have to regenerate the soil to grow the roots, and only then will you get beautiful fragrant flowers. That’s the management metaphor I’ll leave you with today. Still at it. So fundamentally well and joyous. Wishing for everyoen the same, and hoping we can heal our profession and the earth at the same time.