As has been the case for the past year or two, the individual cases I see are not all that exciting for me anymore. Rather, its the interaction with my patients and their families that makes or breaks my day.
At the moment, I can’t recall a single diagnosis from any of the patients I saw today, but I do recall the blue man in his 90s who requested a pillow just as I was about to intubate him (I didn’t intubate him). He was one of a dozen or so patients with whom I chatted and joked, trying to ease their time in the Emergency Room.
While I frequently get little feedback from my sick patients at the time, my easy-going nature usually pays off.
Just yesterday I was buying shoes and a sales person from the other side of the store flew over and said, “I know you! You took care of my father last year when he was in a car accident!” She told me I did a good job.
I always wonder what people think of me when they see their emergency room doctor, sometimes the doctor that saved their or a loved one’s life, outside the hospital setting…buying shoes for example wearing a t-shirt and bike grease stained jeans.