Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Exit

For regular followers of our blog, first, thanks. We all love the fact that some of you appear to like what we write here and it is a fantastic outlet to express frustrations we can't express at work.

Some months ago I posted that I was leaving ER medicine for a job with more regular hours and more sensible patients (and probably less pay). Unfortunately this has temporarily been put on hold, guess why... because of paperwork. Evidently the kind of paperwork that I need to get processed to start my new job will take, at a minimum, six months. This supports the old adage "poor planning on your part does not create an emergency for me" (unless, of course, the poor planning is on the patient's part and I am on the receiving end in the ER). It sucks to be the exception to the rule but it is what I signed-up for (parenthetical to prevent ending sentence with preposition and nod to Winston Churchill for this rule "up with which he could not put").

OK. Time for plan B or C or D. For the moment, and much to the disgust of Dr. Deborah Peel and various anonymi I will continue to be a full time ER doc and will continue to post about the circus that I witness every day.



  1. The Fates have spoken

  2. Just when you thought you were out...

  3. I'm sorry. That must be really disappointing.

    But, hold the phone! (my kids say that all the time and it makes me laugh so I stole it and used it with absolutely no shame) Does that mean once you are out you won't be blogging????

  4. This must be really disappointing for you...
    What kind of paperpwork requires an additional 6 months? Are they doing a high level clearance background chek on you? :-)

  5. Perhaps you should have told them about your second job as a transvestite stripper named "Cherry Tootsie-Pop" a little bit sooner in the paperwork process.

    Gonna miss you at the Kameltoe....

  6. paperwork required is individual and multiple billing numbers with insurance companies. harder than getting a top secret clearance to be sure. may go straight cash and make more money than i do now, charge less for the same care, and start a revolution. would be neat to have patients who expect to pay me, kinda like being in business or bieng a dentist, but we'll see.

  7. um, you didn't answer tori's question....

  8. if you are referring to whether i will continue blogging the answer is yes.

  9. Ah, crap, 911, that sucks stale Twinkie cream. But I'll wager the ER and their patients will be all the better for your presence, no matter how much it bites to be there.

  10. Hey 911, I thought of the perfect job for you!!!

    You can be a writer for HOUSE! Or like one of them reelly reelly smart docs that they use to advise them for the show.


  11. Yeah, we know how much you luuuurve House.......

  12. That's funny because I was randomly thinking about you and your potential career change just last night. As I am currently not working (too pregnant to fit through the ER doors) I've had a lot of time for life pondering and was (once again) searching for an easy way out of the ER. I was hoping you'd found it and could pass on your wisdom to me. Oh well, I can wait 6 months!

  13. I hope you keep blogging anyway, whatever you do, as I really enjoy your posts. I know what you mean about expecting to be paid: I started out as a public interest lawyer, but clients stood me up all the time because it was free. You just get tired of being taken for granted--and I'm not even married! (-:

  14. dear counselor,

    i have no problem with helping folks out who can't afford stuff. here's my problem...

    right now this is not a choice i make, it's a freakin' federal law so it then mutates into the 'you owe me' mentality, and that sucks ass.

    i just took care of a woman with no insurance, who had her nails expensively done, an expensive designer handbag, a nice cell phone, and drove herself here in her own car. she came here because it's free. i can't even get pissed about it anymore.

    to quote pj o'rourke, if you think health care is expensive now, wait until it's free.

    the lack of even a rudimentary basic economics education in america (and, the way it looks now, just about everywhere) is how the charlatans get this shit passed legislative muster.

    good for you for getting out of the grinder and into something you are passionate about. keep visiting, hell of an avatar you got there counselor!

  15. 911 Doc: I know, I'm on your side. My younger son had a serious trauma last year (fell 65 feet off a cliff onto a pipe, no drinking involved) Somehow he escaped spinal or brain injury, though he smashed his sacral plexus, boy parts, pelvis and tail bone. Remarkably, he's doing well, but his brother, Dad and I knocked ourselves out for a year taking care of him and rehabbing him.
    I slept in the trauma ward and various hospital rooms for 6 weeks, and after he was discharged we were in and out the ER for weeks afterwards. I had plenty of time to chat with my son's roommates and the staff, and it seems like my kid was the only one of a few patients with insurance and a non-stupid reason for being there. There was the drunk, uninsured guy who ended up with a seven level spinal fusion after he wrecked his car and hurt a few other people. He wanted me to check the closet for his leather jacket, to be sure the goddamed doctors hadn't cut it off (it was there--they hadn't been able to cut it). And there was the uninsured lady in the ER with a collapsing spine because she wouldn't stop smoking,self-sabotaging her repeated orthopedic surgeries. And here I was getting no sleep but sneaking into my son's bathroom for a quick shower before I dashed off to work, taking shifts with his Dad, who was doing the same thing.
    What fries me is all the parents that don't take care of even the basic needs of their kids, things that don't even cost anything. I work in a lower income school, outside of my own school district, and I see kids with baby teeth rotted out, lice swarms and more. I also see plenty of the working poor who do a superb job parenting, and I do everything I can to make their lives easier. It's the parents that never send snacks with their kids but manage to afford plastic surgery that get to me. And I end up doing as much spot cleaning and hair brushing as I can manage for the girls that come with dirty faces and two day-old matted pony tails. And don't get me started on the lice (I used to have long hair).
    I take issue with some of the more affluent families that my own kids played with, though, too. The kids were seldom dirty, malnourished or untreated medically, but they were sometimes neglected emotionally because the parents were so tuned out, raised in day care centers or by a series of nannies, even though Mom didn't work. A third grade classmate of one of my boys came over years ago, and we didn't hear from the parents for two days, nor were we able to contact them. Taking responsibility for yourself, your kids, your health and your finances isn't even a socio-economic issue, it's one of personal integrity. Part of the reason I changed careers was because I looked in the mirror and wasn't happy with how well I was meeting my own responsibilities.
    And how about all the children generated by the polygamous "Mormons" in the news that I have to admit I'm related to? (My grandpa got kicked out of a compound and declared himself a Lutheran) I respect religious freedom, but I don't want to work hard every day to subsidize the people in prairie dress. I love kids, but we only had two, that being the number we felt we could raise and educate well. I don't care who others worship, sleep with or what they eat,drink or ingest as long as I don't have to pay extra for those choices. But usually I do.
    You and the docs have my complete support--I was 100% happy with the care my son received in the ERs here in California, and we had to come in fairly often. Thanks for everything you do, you're fighting the good fight. Too bad it has to feel so much like fighting.

  16. dear devorah,

    even though our detractors would not agree, none of us here have anything against any particular group EXCEPT the group that also gets you, the external locus of control crowd... the crowd with no sense of personal responsibility.

    re the mormons... i must say that of all the groups of folks i see on a regular basis they seem to have the personal responsibility thing down. they have lots of kids but polygamy is illegal and only practiced in some backwater utah towns. i know this because i thought about converting simply to have more wives but they told me that wasn't possible (just kidding honey).

    finally, devorah, thanks for your kind words. go and clone yourself immediately.

  17. Morning, Doc: I agree. The real Mormons take care of their famiies and friends better than anyone I know. Except me, of course. And there are more polygamists than you know, trust me on this one. I don't care about that, either, as long as they support the number of kids they produce (they usually don't).

  18. PS There's a whole lotta "celestial marriage" hidden in regular society (see Big Love on HBO--they're my peeps) I have two aunts marriaged to the same guy. Just look for large demographic concentrations of folks named Smith. That's my excuse for my failings--I'm the product of inbreeding.