There’s nothing worse than my preceptor running behind schedule.
The patient doesn’t know or care that it’s for a legitimate reason. Or that I stayed up late last night to read their files, view their MRIs, or read a veritable textbook of sources about their disease.
They only care that they’ve been waiting for an hour, that I don’t respect the value of their time, and that they finally have someone to yell at.
I used to handle this by apologizing, but that just gave them an excuse to keep berating me. Usually with something reasonable like “Well, maybe you could try NOT TRIPLE-BOOKING YOUR PATIENTS” or “Maybe you could LET ME KNOW that you’re dealing with an emergency in another room.”
The worst part is that they’re technically right – even if they are blaming the wrong person. The truth may not hurt, exactly – but it… stings a little.
Still. That “woe is me” attitude was getting me nowhere fast, so I tried just brushing it off. It’s surprisingly easy to do – you just think, “Wow, they’re acting like a jerk. Oh well, not my fault!” and move on. Just ignore it. Not my problem.
But today I realized that instead of feeling guilty and stressed-out (like I do when I’m apologetic) – ignoring the patient’s obvious passive-aggressiveness just makes me hate the patients right back.
… like, a lot. You begin to see the patient as an obstacle to getting through your work instead of the entire point of being at work in the first place.
I think I’m beginning to understand how people get so jaded in medicine.
… Just one of those days, I guess.