So today it became apparent to me, yet again, that I have made the right decision in leaving Emergency Medicine and signing on with Uncle Sam for a 8-4 clinic gig.
See, if I had worked in the ER today, after taxes, I would have made, hell, I don't know, $1300 to $2000 or more. Then I would have come home and beat the dog, yelled at my kids, and argued with my wife about how the ER was NOT destroying my soul, and then I would have posted some cool picture on MDOD and told a cool story about someone who either died or didn't, or who either pissed me off or didn't, and then I would have stayed up late to enjoy the time away from the ER, then I would have had trouble sleeping for fear of having to go back, and then I would have gone back and done it again and eventually killed the dog or worse.
But today, here's what happened. First, no one died. Plus one. Second, since I work for the military but as a civilian, the uniformed folks had today off. Clinic closed. So I'm off right? No, I'm not. I have to report to work to do whatever the powers that be decide need doing. Today it was clerical work.
So, I showed up, planted my ass in front of a computer, and wrote this post. I then did some online shopping and moved some money around in my IRA. Then I had a slice of pizza and talked with a Special Forces-type, while checking some boxes, about the situation in Afghanistan and the border regions. Hell, we talked for an hour.
Then I went to the nearby gym, where I am welcome because the Airmen there are my patients, and got a good workout in.
Then I came back to my momentary place of employment and got back on the internet. I posted a picture of Tim Tebow in a turban... just kidding... I would NEVER do that... and I looked around the place. I saw about thirty people in the building.... some in uniform, some not. All had their feet up. It was SWEET.
I 'worked' today and made about a third of what I would have in the ER. I am now comfortably at home... early... And looking forward to a good NFL weekend. I am also thirty pounds lighter than my last day in the ER, and I actually sleep now without ambien.
Yesterday was a hard day. I saw ten patients. One was almost sick. I was a bit perturbed that I had to work through lunch, but, since the people I'm taking care of are responsible and motivated (mostly), to remain healthy and do good things with their lives, it was in no way comparable to a typical day in the ER.
There I would walk out of most patient encounters thinking, "what a GD waste... that patient is not going to change and is going to continue to be a drag on the system and will continue to smoke meth/crack/opium/catnip/cigarettes etc... until they die, but we will save them six times before they do, and that will cost all of us about 5 million dollars and they will sue me successfully for missing their traumatic chronic fatigue syndrome and chronic Lyme disease and then I will end up as the subject of a (fuck you asshole.... (I mean it Bart Durham, enjoy it now because there is a ceramic-tile-fueled-barbecue-spit in hell waiting for you when it's over)) Bart Durham television commercial (stick with the link... it's some dead air to begin with but the payoff is worth it) .
So to sum up... government medicine is FANTASTIC, for me I mean. It did take me two days to get my annual training requirements done on the computer... two days I didn't have to see patients.... and what the hell... they made me take sexual harassment training when I majored in it in college and graduated Magnu Cum Laude. It's all good. Working for the government has it's frustrations, but stress is not one of them, saving lives on the spot is not one of them, and working one minute past your quit time is not one of them.
Maybe I should join a union and see some Michael Moore movies. I mean, I feel myself getting stupider so why not?