Interesting comments on the previous post. Thanks for all of them. I do think it's hard to maintain the right perspective, and especially to remember that every patient is different, has a different understanding of their illness, and wants/needs explanation at different levels. I had a patient last week-- she comes in with her husband, and after some tests we see that the situation is not a good one. I start explaining things, in very simple terms, slowly and carefully. Then it happens to come up that she's a doctor herself-- it wasn't in the chart-- and it's like a complete 180. "Why didn't you say so?" "Oh, I didn't think of it." And then I really found myself completely changing the kinds of words I was using and the tone I was saying them in. She was following-- but her husband from that point on really wasn't. And he asked me to back up, and slow down. And I did. But just my whole mental process-- from "she's just a patient" to "she's a doctor, so I can use the medical words now"-- was interesting. I don't know what the lesson necessarily is, but I was surprised how different it felt to talk to "just a patient" vs. "a doctor." Because of course she shouldn't be "just" a patient. She's a patient. Period. They're all patients.
I don't know if any of that makes sense.
On a lighter note, I think one of the interns on my team took a secret vacation.
She had switched shifts so that she didn't have to work either day this weekend. On Friday, she said she had to leave at noon for a meeting with the program director.
Today, she texts me at seven in the morning saying she wasn't going to be in until 2:00 because she totally forgot about a required lecture she had to go to.
I wouldn't have thought anything of it, except she looked so different today than she did last week-- so relaxed, so calm, so tan. And maybe it was just the weekend, but you sit in the call room long enough staring at the sun that you never get to see that you can start to drive yourself nuts with theories. So I've decided she actually cut out early on Friday, flew to some tropical island, and the flight was delayed last night, she panicked, and had to send the text about the (fake) lecture so she wouldn't get in trouble.
I don't really care if she took a secret vacation-- I'm her supervisor, but I'm not her boss-- I just think it's crazy to imagine someone risking her job just for an extra half-day on each end of the weekend. She already had the two days off. If she'd asked, I would probably have let her out a couple hours early on Friday, and told her she could come in an hour late today. I hate to think I'm a monster resident that my interns would be afraid to talk to. And I don't think I am, so maybe she really did have a meeting and a lecture. It just seems too coincidental for them to bookend the weekend like that.
I think I'm just hallucinating from the lack of two-day weekends for the past six months, and the fact I still won't have one for another few months. At least I have one-day weekends. One is better than none.