Stress Management

        Docs might be under a fair amount of stress, but so is most everyone else in the modern world. At least part of it is due to a schedule that is too jammed.  (I remember a former administrator who said my idea of a committee meeting was to show up late, eat two meals and leave.)

        A recent patient was in for a high blood pressure check up.  He was a real type “A” who ran a couple of businesses and juggled commitments all day long.

        When I came in the exam room, he was nervous and impatient, and checked his watch.  The harried gentleman had a palm pilot, and two beepers on his belt.  He was tending to a call on his cell phone, and interrupted his call long enough to address me.  His pressured speech left little need to take a history.  “Doc,” he said.  “Lets hurry up, now.  I’ve gotta get outta here- I’m late for my Stress Management class.” 

        Oh my, he probably needed to learn to play the fiddle.   Come to think of it, maybe the mandolin would be better – that fiddle Is a beast.

        I thought about him several times on the drive home, at least in between dictating charts and fielding calls, and decided maybe I’d better “take a look at yourself” as the song says.  I was not sure I was doing much better than he was.  

        By the way, neither of us were under the gun as much as one other fellow I saw years ago.  He had a complicated case and was seeing multiple specialists, and was slowly losing ground.  One day he lost his patience, and demanded results.  “Doc, if you don’t hurry up and do something, one of these days I’m gonna wake up dead!”  Now that is pressure, and much more so for the poor patient than me.

        Sometimes (often) docs learn more from their patients than we teach them.  After considering both these guy’s stories, I decided I’d better hurry home and play my mandolin for a while.

Post Script-  Sorry for any typos.  No time to edit.  Had to go to the hospital for computer training on the new system- they say its gonna save all kinds of time.

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Advice- Five Cents, Philosophy

2 Comments on “Stress Management”

  1. bushpoet Says:

    Yes, I can certainly relate.

    Working at a county clinic, I don’t have as many patients who are type A and overcommitted in business, but I have a lot of patients who are stressed out by life in general.

    I too am way overcommitted and need to practice what I preach. Cutting back on medicine and doing more writing is my way of doing that. I don’t expect my patients to understand why I do what I do–but I know, deep inside, what I’ve got to do. For me, it’s not bluegrass, it’s poetry and literature. To each his or her own elixir for healing.

    K.F. (bushiethepoet)

  2. drtombibey Says:

    I hear ‘ya, Doc. Keep the faith. Take care of yourself, ’cause country docs are hard to come by where I come from, and that is proably true in your neck of the woods, too.
    I can keep on doctoring ’cause of music but also from writing, too, so keep it up.

    -Dr. B

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