Thursday, July 9, 2009

Things I love about my Job. Really

I'm getting tired of hearing myself complain, so I can only imagine what it's like for the rest of the people in my life. Because, when I complain, I am doing it so that I can figure out ways to make a great job even better. But, honestly, truly, I would not trade this job for anything.
So here are some things I love about my job, some are specific to my style and location of practice, some are just wonderful things about Family Medicine.

1. Helping people.
Al once argued (for the sake of debate) that Mother Theresa was the most selfish person in the world, his argument being that it feels so good when you are able to help someone, that all the help she was doing was in order to promote her sense of self worth. It's kind of a silly argument, but it does make a person feel good to get to help others.

2. Learning stuff:
The broad nature of Family Medicine allows me to soak up knowledge from all manner of other docs, today I learned about Alcian blue staining in Barret's esophagus, yesterday about pediatric rhematology and post mycoplasma arthritis. And learning stuff is always fun.

3. My office: I've got new office space since February, and I'm digging it. The walls are "willow tree" green, totally chillin, my office/exam room is nice and big, and comfy. And bill makes coffee quite often, sometimes its too strong to drink, but it always smells great in here. And it's handy to have 2 psychiatrists down the hall, in case i have an urgent psychiatric need, like the need for a very comfy couch.

4. Relationships
I get to meet and share in the lives of so many people every day. And I am blessed with patients who send me photo Christmas cards, share their produce overflow (tomato season is coming soon!!), and invite me to graduations, birthdays, and anniversaries. I care very deeply for my patients, and I am invested in their well being. That's my job. But they don't have to care about me, and they do. That's the bonus.

5. Time: I spend way to much time here, but the fact that I can spend an hour with new patients and complicated patients, and a half hour visit time is standard, is so incredibly relaxing. Gone is the pressure from knowing that if Mr X needs an EKG its going to make me late for the next 6 people. I have the time to do what needs to be done, and it feels good.

6. Staff:
Barbara and Mary, and those who have gone before them, have tolerated my moodiness and crankiness, and still come to work every day and and smile and make the patients feel welcome and cared for. That's so cool.

7. Amazing Charts, and other technological advances: There's lots of cool techno stuff going on these days. Technology is not the answer to our health care woes, but there are some fun things happening. AmazingCharts is a easy to use, friendly, and AFFORDABLE electronic medical record, and I'm excited to be making the transition away from paper. I've resigned myself that it's going to take a Really Long Time, but I'm young. Other cool stuff happening too, I can show people their xrays that they had done in the hospital from my laptop, I can (sometimes) send prescriptions electronically to the pharmacy, I can sign orders for the visiting nurses from my laptop to go to their palmtops that they take to the patients home, and just the other day, a patient texted me a medical question. These are good times to be alive.

Lots of people in the world have to wake up in the morning and go to a job they don't really like. I am not one of those people. All my complaining and pushing for change, its really, really, just so that I can keep doing this job that I love.