Sunday, June 22, 2008
As I approach my exit from the circus of the Emergency Department I thought I would do a 'top ten' list of reasons I am leaving.
Dr. "Spanz" was an attending at my residency program. He was widely feared by all in the hospital for his temper and his commanding presence.
Prior to residency I had been a Medical Officer in the service. There I worked for and took care of warriors. Leaders. They treated me well... probably better than I deserved, but I was their 'doc', and they at least acted like they were happy to have me.
There I learned that a General worth his salt treats his 18 year old enlisted folks like they are adults and then punishes them when they aren't. Dr. Spanz treated us like children and punished us when we acted like adults. Of course, across the spectrum of medical training this is the sad norm.
When I started my residency other residents said of "Dr. Spanz", "You will hate him while you are here but when you leave you will remember him fondly as his lessons will not fade and his teaching will save your ass."
The first part of this bit of wisdom proved true, but the latter... not so much. This guy was very fond of reaming you a new one at every opportunity, and was a staunch defender of all manner of dirtbag patients who frequented our club. Kick, spit, cuss, and hit, as a patient you could get away with it when Dr. Spanz was on. He would go up to the most abusive patients and smile and pat their hands and talk to them like they were the Queen of England.
We, as residents, were, for some reason, deserving of his wrath, but patients were always right and wonderful and fluffy. I have never in my life met as self-important an asshole as Dr. Spanz- a big fish in a smallish pond. He WAS the smart kid who was always picked last for kickball. He's still taking it out on his indentured servants, and he still has a hole in his heart that he can't fill.
Fifteen years out and I still can't let it go. Do I have issues? Yes, but Dr. Spanz, you suck. It was hard enough as it was. Your pomposity and barely concealed neuroses would have not been tolerated in any other setting than academic medicine. And by the way, you are ugly too.
Posted by 911DOC at Sunday, June 22, 2008