Friday, January 13, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Government Doctor

Sorry for the dearth of posts, but toe fungus and Obstructive Sleep Apnea are just not good material to work with.

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?


  1. Since when did the Air Farce start taking the Friday before a Monday National Holiday off???
    Oh yeah, probably one of those "Safety Standdowns" since its Friday the 13th....
    Seriously, even the Marines don't take off until noon on Friday.
    And try this next time some Sick Call Commando wants light duty.
    Tell him your "out" of light duty.
    See, I got the idea one September, you know how the military always runs out of money a few weeks before the physical year ends? so nobody gets to fly, drive tanks bla bla bla.
    Well I told some pussy I wouldn't have any light duty till October 1st, and HE BOUGHT IT!!
    OK, he was a Marine, so he made Trig Palin look like Steve friggin Hawkins, but around the 20th of every month I'd tell Lance Corporal Fellatio he'd have to come back in 2 weeks.
    OK, yes I didn't have the balls to tell Sergeant Charles Whitman Jr. to take one for Chesty Puller...


  2. So what you are saying is that you are on the job retired. You are coasting, accepting a salary under false pretences and just waiting to die of boredom.

  3. No, I am recovering. To my fellow providers this is, evidently, a hard job. To me it is not. So if you want to call it "coasting" okay. And it turns out to be TRUE!!!! That putting family ahead of job is a great thing. Who knew?. I wa already working for the government in the ER and so are all doctors so what's your beef? I just decided to stop gettin punched in the face. You, however, are welcome to continue.

  4. I was taking the piss, pulling your plonker, winding you up. Pick your own euphemism. Ah, I know, I was joshing you. And I thought it was only Frank that didn't have a sense of humour (sorry, humor).

    I too work in an Emergency Department so know exactly what goes on. Would I move to an easier job? In a heartbeat.

  5. No worries... I do have a sense of humor and don't mind being teased but did not recognise it as such. I wish I could tell you that I missed the ER and would be back someday... I think if I told you that though, that I would be lying. Thank you for being there.

  6. Somehow GrumpyRN, you must have it easier if you are from the other side of the pond - are you? IDK 911, verbally abusive patients with an UK accent and all. Kinda classy.


  7. SCRN; Yes, I do live in the UK but what makes you think I have it easier? Verbal and physical abuse is the same regardless of accent. Not sure what the stats are for your country but apparently in the UK, A&E(ED) nurses have a higher risk of assault than police.

  8. You, GrumpRN, are no fun at all.

  9. That's why I'm grumpy! Actually on this site any comments are usually followed by some homophobic, racist, historically inaccurate non sequitur from Frank so it is difficult to strike a balance.

  10. Sehr Geehrte Grumpy RN,
    Wenn Ich war Krankenschwester, wurde ich auch einen Grosse Arschloch sein. Sie sollten glucklich sein, dass die Vereinigstatten hat den Verdammten UK verteidigt in den Zweite Weltkrieg. Ich bin der Meinung, das Konigin Elizabeth wirklich ein Mann ist, und Furst Charles saugt Pferde Schwanzen,

    Leck Mich,
    Herrn Doktor Frank

  11. Cher Frank,

    C'est le genre d'absurdities dont je parle. Stupide, enfantin et ignorant.


  12. God bless you Frank and Grumpy... First good laugh I've had in a while.

  13. Umm Male/Nurse(Not that there's anythang wrong with that*)
    I was illustrating Irony, typing in the language you'd understand(under penalty of death), if my Grandfather(s)hadn't kicked the Nazis asses in the big W-W-2.
    Oh yeah, and my Greatgrandfather probably had sex with your Greatgrandmother, which makes us like, I don't know, related.
    And I know, England provided plenty of Poon-Tang-age for our fighting boys to dive into inbetween bombing raids on Schweinfort, they also serve, who lie back and take the high hard one...
    OH, so your tryin to be Ironic too, typing in the language of a Nation who invented the phrase "Losing like a Frenchman", WELL WE WOULD HAVE KICKED YOUR ASS WITHOUT PEPE'le" WHATS HIS NAME!!!!!
    Yorktown, Bee-Otch.
    thats where you lost, and I forget where you lost the War of 1812 at, but last time I checked, we're still driving on the right.


    * But there is

  14. Frank,
    I knew you wouldn't be able to resist the French slam. Learned French in high school. Not only did it not prove useful then in any way.... "it's the language of diplomacy".... It has since, also proves as useful as tits on a mule. Don't change Frank, what would we do?

  15. Life is too short. I think it is great you decided to change jobs in order to improve the quality of your life at home.
    How did your wife feel about the move from ER to clinic? Is she happier too? Actually I was more worried about the dog, but I didn't want to come across as callous.

  16. my wife was very happy dear anonymous. she had made the same choice a couple of years prior. she's always been smarter than me. the dog is prospering!

  17. I think it's great that you finally found a work environment that makes you happy, even beyond the working hours. Suppose it was a tough choice to make, but hell, you got a workout in that day, awesome!
    And I don't think anyone could've anticipated the cultural appeal of this blog post; French and German. What's next? Hindi?!?

  18. @9-11,
    you piqued one of my Pet Peeves, A-holes who don't clean up after there Pets...
    I mean foreign language instruction, which is a bigger waste than using 3 drugs to execute criminals when a simple .22 to the base of the skull would suffice.
    Nobody learns a language in a classroom, you learn by IMMERSION, reading Goethe in the original Kraut, listening to Mozart in the original Mozart, haggling with Tranny Hookers on the Reeperbahn...
    And if it wasn't for that fake acid I bought in 81' I never would have met Inspektor Bernhardt of the Drogenpolizei...


  19. Frank, Frank, Frank. Not only are you boring but you are unoriginal. Come on boy, get on the game. For gods sake be original or if you can't be original be accurate. Repetitive, stupid, homophobic, racist, misogynistic. You have become a cartoon character.
    Oh, and as a passing thought. Don't comment on foreign languages when you are struggling with English. The spelling and grammar are appalling even taking into account American spellings.
    Go away boy. You bother me.

  20. Hey Grumpy Male RN,
    talk about boring, you used "Original" twice in one sentence, which is probably why your wife cheats on you.
    Oh sorry, I left out the "Quotation Marks" around "Wife" cause SSM isn't legal in England yet, one of the few thangs your Country's gotten right.
    And I know its supposed to be "You're" it's a waste of a damn Apostrophe, and in fifty years YOU'LL be the one who looks old fashioned, you know, like how you losers call tylenol "Paracetemol".
    OK, I admit "Laudanum" sounds pretty cool, and I say it all the time, but with a cool "Doc Holliday" accent, not a rediculous Benny Hill one.
    And speaking of Cartoon Characters, does Andy Capp know you're wearing his hat?

    Frank "Yea for the IRA" Drackman

  21. Frank, I said be original, but no, same old same old.

    Doc Holliday? Oh yes, born in Georgia, Sherman marched through there didn't he. Obviously should have went back and did it again, some of you survived.

  22. Grumpy Homo,
    I mean RN, wait, I was right the first time.
    And you used "Old" twice in a sentence, probably cause you're(Happy now?)Old, and couldn't pull a Homo-nym from your rapidly decaying long term memory...
    And you're right, that Nazi Sherman did burn a path from Atlanta to the Ocean, like the Nazi's would have done to London, if the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA hadn't saved your limey Asses, Ass.
    And FYI(thats an American English term for, oh you figure it out)England was on the South's side, till you guys realized having Slaves isn't really all that great.
    Oh sure, you save on salary, but do you really want to guy who cuts your grass livin in your back yard?
    Oh, I used "Ass" twice in a sentence, report me to Funk & Wagners...

    Frank "You lost to friggin GHANDI" Drackman

  23. SCRN; you see, this is the kind of nonsense I am talking about. Frank is so busy trying to be clever that he can't even get his own references correct. It is Funk & Wagnalls which even a quick Google would have shown.

  24. Grumpy, you will have to blame 911 for all that. You see (you don't hang around enough to know, I guess) that, Frank isn't from the states, and he doesn't speak English either. 911 buys Frank's posts and has them translated and reposted on MDOD. Frank is trying to pick up what he can by watching "Glee", "The Jersey Shore", etc. Be patient!! So, you would not be the first to shoot off an email to 911 asking him to use a better translator.


  25. Worked as a civilian Pediatrician at Ft. Hood 10 years. You are right! BEST years of my career! 40 hr week, occasionally 1 weekend day, 12 Fed holidays off. ONE insurance to deal with, TriCare, and once you learn the "system" NOTHING gets argued or denied.

    PLUS an average patient of MORE intelligence than in the "real" world!