Sunday, August 31, 2008

Reasons I'm Leaving Emergency Medicine (number 1- My Non-Labor Day))


I'm a dinosaur.

I wanted to be the guy in the pinch. I wanted to hit the homer with two outs and one on in the ninth... full count, fastball, WHAM! I was this guy... for a while.

Egostistical? Maybe, but maybe a healthy desire to acheive excellence and make a difference. God complex? You tell me. Or am I simply arriving on scene a little too early or a little too late?

One thing is certain... as long as the American public wishes to embrace nanny-statism it will be hard for me to find my niche unless I work for myself. Within my little ER world I should now be 'the man' and in many respects I am.

Clinically I am certainly top notch and I am the one, along with my incredible colleagues, my fantastic nurses, paramedics, and techs, that DO the nasty, dangerous, and critical stuff. If this sounds arrogant I am sorry, I am not trying to sound arrogant... I trained to do this for many years and to do this I need to be confident in my abilities... I am.

We stick people with huge needles, we do minor surgery, we occasionally do major surgery (but always fail as cracking someone's chest open in the ER rarely works to get someone fixed and eventually home), we jump-start hearts with thunderous doses of electrical current, we break terrible news, we pronounce babies dead, we pronounce old folks dead, we save lives, and we make mistakes.

The thanks are few these days given the horrendous wait times and huge bills. I am caught between the realization that I AM, in fact, doing an important job, and the realization that my common sense solutions are NOT appreciated, and will not be implemented anytime soon.

It's time to leave, and just in case you are wondering why I did this in the first place, keep your eyes peeled... a post soon to come will explain that, AND why I have no regrets.

* I am now done as a full-time EM physician. My last shift was overnight and, at the end of it, I couldn't leave fast enough and I shed not a tear (though a couple of my nurses and medics did).


  1. Let me be the first to congratulate you. Make a monument out of the anchor removed from your neck, keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars, and the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, etc etc. May your internet porn career take off like a rocket.

  2. I'll miss ya. We'll do our best to carry on the life-saving type stuff after those who have shown us the way.

  3. *Crying*
    The checkered flag tells me it is over. I am so sorry that you have worked your last shift. What an incredible loss to EM! You have fought a great fight and the victory is that you know there's a better way. You are one fabulous Physician. Here's to you!
    Cheers and Bottoms Up!

  4. Good for you, I know that many people DO think being a doctor is glamorous, but you and I know differently. People don't think about the late nights and being tied to a pager.
    I know you WILL probably miss the CHAOS at first but you will be ok. Good luck in your new endeavors.

    I would like to get your new internet porn address, when you have a couple of free hands.

  5. Ah but I can sense that it was a bit bittersweet for you.

    Is it appropriate to wish you fairwinds and following seas in your new endeavors?

    I've enjoyed your posting and wonder what exactly you'll post about now?

  6. And a request please. Could those of you who pray, please pray for those in the path of Hurricane Gustav, that we might not see the same death and destruction that was witnessed 3 years ago. My family is directly in its path, although not on the coast.

  7. Amy: Yes of course (I believe in evolution AND God).

    911: Let me be the seventh to congratulate you and wish you happy trails. May you be as happy in your new career direction as I've been in mine. I'll pray for you too. And you too OldFart! Anybody else?

  8. No that doesn't sound arrogant. Arrogance is UNJUSTIFIED confidence. If you know your stuff, well then, you just know your stuff.
    Just found your blog.. I like it.

    Seasoned OB nurse turned Nurse-Midwife

  9. I'm crushed. I've only just met you, and I was starting to think that there was some hope in the ER. I thought you were bluffing. What's next? Maybe open up a Botox kiosk in a shopping mall. Cash pay, low risk, no pager, and starting out with low expectations leaves less room for disappointment. Alternatively, there will soon be a new opening for surgeon general. You'd be perfect. Maybe you could start by sending all the clipboards to guantanamo. I truly hope you stay in medicine.

  10. Dear Dr. 911DOC,

    Well, gee, that was a little sad. I want to be happy for you, but your number 1 reason caught me off-guard, and I feel a little sad for this country and what your leaving represents to medicine in America.

    And no, you don't sound arrogant, not at all. I'm sure you are one of the best. And I appreciate very much what doctors do; I know I could never have been a doctor, even if I had the intellectual capacity. I could never do the nasty, dangerous, critical stuff. But I'm really glad there are men and women who do become doctors, because where would I be without you all?

    So thank you for all you have given to the people you have served, even if I wasn't one of them; thank you.

    Love, Teresa

  11. 1: I am jealous
    2: Your my hero (not being sarcastic)

    3: I am still stuck in this shithole we call medicine until I can afford to get out. Therefore, refer back to 1 and 2.

    If you can survive this journey there is nothing you can not do, therefore I have no qualms about your future endeavors.

    Best Wishes,


  12. I'm curious.. What do you plan to do next?

  13. Congrats, my good friend. I agree with all of you. American medicine lost a great physician yesterday. However, happiness and peace of mind are priceless things.

    You are not arrogant my good man. When you got skills, you got skills. You have great reason to be confident. Remember, I have seen you NAKED more than once. You got SKILLS.


  14. Good luck, 911! Hope you will still keep up with the blog.

    **I don't think you are arrogant at all, simply realistic and very smart.**

  15. Congratulations to you! Best of luck in your future endeavors & please keep us updated. I'm eager to hear all about how you help others in ways you couldn't as an ER doc.

  16. *sigh*

    Take equal parts jealousy and sadness that you're outta here.

    Mix in a blender with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and an ounce and a half each of vodka, Kahlua, and Bailey's.

    Pour your 911 Mudslide into a cold mug and enjoy.

    Repeat as needed until the feelings of sadness and jealousy have diminished and all that is left is the alcohol and ice cream.

    Gonna miss you, Zebra Hunter.

    PS: You are too an arrogant prick. But better an arrogant prick than a useless douchebag.

  17. Fair winds and following seas sir. You will be missed, even by those of us who never worked a shift with you.

    Many hopes that you will continue to blog and inspire.

    Doc H USN

  18. All the best in your new job!... whatever that is. Must be pretty secret as we have repeatedly asked you for details or even a crumb of a tiny hint and nothing. We are told nothing. O how ingrate of you, 911, when we all were there for you, to commiserate and console.


    Just kidding. Just don't stop blogging.

  19. I'm sorry to see you go. I hope whatever you have planned goes just as you want it to. Good ED docs are an endangered species, and what is really sad is the patients who do all the bitching are the ones that lose the most.

  20. Hmmm.

    I serially consider changing careers and haven't the guts.

    I admire your decision making, and your fortitude.

    Best of luck to you and yours,


  21. Oh no.... I can't believe this. I guess I have to say congratulations and wish you good luck, but I'm gonna miss your humore and intelligence...

  22. Whatever you decide to do, don't become a clipboard nurse (people really hate them).

    Good luck!

  23. Congrats!

    Did the same 2 years ago and I am absolutely better off for it. After 11 years of general surgery, I quit. My wife loves me for it and our marriage is better than ever. I lost 20 pounds and did a marathon last year (with a decent time, too!) Do I miss working with patients? Yes, every now and then, I am presented with a case and I know I could have taken care of it. But, when I think about the hassles of paperwork with insurance companies, malpractice, hospital administration, disgruntled patient, etc. then I come back to reality and enjoy the weekends and holidays that I am completely free from work and have more time to spend with my family. You're better off, 911Doc!

    will quit soon
    (now sales representative for major medical instruments manufacturing company)

  24. I figured out who you must be. You are that hottie doctor, Dr. Travis Stork. He just left the ER to be on tv on some new show with a bunch of other doctors or something like that. You can tell me that isn't you, but I won't believe it.

  25. rad girl,

    he's a babe in the woods.


    thanks for the kind words. i will let you all know what i'm up to as it unfolds. i just slept for about 48 of the last 60 hours and i'm still tired. more soon, and thank you.

  26. You sleep too much. Are you depressed?
    There. You owe me $450. I'll email you the bill.

  27. You will get bored of internet porn and daytime tv. I hope you have a pet.

  28. Daytime TV yes, porn never.

    Congrats again!

  29. ACK! I just found this blog and now you are leaving EM? Humph. You remind me of Dr. House (in a good way). Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

  30. omg... doc911.. don't leave me now buddy..
    we just got "the memo" @ my er that our guiac now is send out... 1 day.. the used to take, like, 2 seconds.... aarrgghh.
    we still need to discuss politics from a previous rant..
    hey. this is so sad. so terribly sad.

  31. Congratulations. I left full time private practice of a surgical subspecialty 1n 1990 and never regretted it for a minute. I continued to practice medicine part-time for another 15 years but never again took on the bonebreaking responsibility of being the principal attending surgeon. You will LOVE your new life, no matter what you are doing.

  32. well this is a shocker. not close to being anything near to your level of expertise. but adopted a very malnourished boy from Africa last year and feel over the moon.

    May you continue to save lives, in whatever capacity.

  33. I prayed for the Gustav refugees.

    "Dear God. Please show these ignorant fucks that life in a swamp, below sea level, on a hurricane-plagued bit of ocean is really really fucking stupid. The two hurricanes in three years you sent are not message enough. Have you considered locusts? Boils? Drought? I know those worked in days past. Hurricanes aren't getting the job done. They keep moving back. Please tell our leaders to quit paying those fucking retards to rebuild that place too. God, I get so pissed at how stupid people can be. Did you make stupid people just so anyone with some intelligence feel better? It's not helping.


  34. 'nother 'nonymous6:47 AM, September 04, 2008

    "that life in a swamp, below sea level, on a hurricane-plagued bit of ocean is really really fucking stupid"

    Duh, we have levees......

  35. Hey anon asswipe:

    My family lives several hours north of the coast. They still got hit by the hurricane. It's the damndest thing about those storms, THEY MOVE.

  36. 911, congratulations, you made it out without going postal. I wish you the very best on your next endeavor and look forward to hearing about it. Isn't sleep WONDERFUL? I'm very protective of my sleep-in days.
    Please leave a link to your naked pictures before you go.

  37. Amy,

    Then maybe I wasn't referring to your inbred kinfolk.

  38. *chants to self*


    I hearby declare open season on trolls. Doc hand me my scatter gun, this inbred girl's gonna shoot her some self-righteous, know-it-all douchebag, carpet-bagger, Obama hugging libs and serve 'em up for dinner. Secret's in the sauce ya'll.

  39. Wonderful. May I suggest you move to low lying areas near the coast. Please build a poorly constructed house, much like the rest of the fucktards in that area, and then proceed to milk the teat of government when your wal-mart trailer of chinese junk washes away. You will get low interest loans, clothing will funnel in for your 50 children with different dads, paid for my medicare and WIC.

    Meanwhile, you'll claim that the big bad gubment is run by liberals all while you cash your welfare checks and post on blogs.

  40. You're just mad because I told you to grow some balls last time aren't you.

    I don't even know what to say to you. I recieve no welfare checks or WIC my dear, but you are correct in that I do post on blogs.

    I was trying to make light of your obviously persumptuous and ignorant comments and once again you reward with more angry drivel. If you hadn't insulted the whole southern coast of the US, I would have agreed with you that people shouldn't build in low lying areas on the coast, especially below sea level, and that the government should have never handed money over to politicians in Louisiana to rebuild because it's the most corrupt state in the nation. Besides the obvious facts that more money isn't going to solve anything. The government owes them nothing special, no rebuilds, etc.

    But gosh your spew is amazing.

  41. Society, and everyone who crosses the threshhold of the ERs in which you work, are vastly better off now. Your nastiness, bitterness, and evident hatred for all patients has manifestly affected your ability to practice medicine to the point where you were a danger to all you met -- except those spouting arterial blood to the ceiling.

    Goodbye, motherfucker. Now go do something you're qualified to do -- like sit in an arcade and shoot imaginary bullets at videogame squirrels, or something.

  42. You are entitled to your opinion. But defacing someone else's blog is plain dumb. You don't have the guts to give us a link back to your blog. Chances are you don't have one. And let me assure you, even if you did, none of us would be stupid enough to try and insult you on your blog. Its just plain dumb.

    Nothing wrong with having an opinion.. just have the balls to be associated with your views. An opinion without the person who holds it, has no value..

  43. Comment moderation enabled? Sad.. What has blogging come to..