Lady-Doc Lunches

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I work with two other female physicians. I am sooooo grateful to have them around but there are days I may never see or speak to them, even though we work every single day under the same roof. 

What’s worse is we get so wrapped up in taking care of other people we forget to take care of ourselves.

So we started a few months ago reserving a time once a month to go have lunch together. We block our schedules so we don’t feel rushed to go back and see patients and do our best to ensure no other meetings impose themselves on our time.

We talk about the office. We talk about our lives away from the office. We eat tacos and queso fundido and chips and salsa… And we bitch.

It is incredibly helpful.

For years I have felt that even though I love the fall and winter as a season, this is the time of year that my job satisfaction plummets. I have started to feel it creeping in on me again this year ever since that first North wind blew in. This is when I start looking for new jobs or fantasizing about quitting medicine altogether…

I was starting to think that perhaps I have seasonal affective disorder, that maybe there is something wrong with me biochemically. Do I need to be medicated perhaps?

But, no! No, no, NO!

Yesterday one of the other lady-docs admitted she feels the same way each year and she has already felt it creeping in on her now, too. The volume of the clinic seems to correlate. More patients means more stress and means that the little things that don’t work right feel like mountains rather than mole hills.

It feels fantastic to find you are not alone. We may all be crazy but misery loves company.

So thank you, ladies. Thank you for helping me feel human. I love working (and lunching) with you both!

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77 thoughts on “Lady-Doc Lunches

  1. I love the coming season, too, but find myself a little gloomy–introspective?–as it looms. I feel excited once fully in its thrall, but for some reason … those steps into are tentative and fumbling. This year is the first time I realize it for the pattern it is. And this all without the innumerable work stressors you describe! (How can you be expected to have anything left for medicine with all the paperwork and regulations?!)

    Three cheers for the ladies you mention, and making time to take care of yourself!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. What an excellent idea. IMO, you need time for yourself, even when you are at work.
    On a different note, I used to stay in the office at lunchtime and therefore never got a true break from the phone or my PC. I started walking to the park for my lunch, meeting my Mum once a week, or just going out to get a paper. Our boss was good though and once a month or so we would have an office meeting…….over breakfast.

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  3. My Cordelia is back working in my office for the time being, and even though it’s a very small place, I sometimes don’t see her all day. Hubby will ask how she’s doing and I honestly can’t tell him! So, we also try to go out to lunch once a month or so to catch up.

    As for the mood changes this time of year, I think for us Northerners it’s because we get the nesting instinct – let’s burrow in before the snow flies. No need to be overly sociable because in just a few weeks we’ll be under 6 or 8 feet of white stuff and we won’t be visiting anyone anyway. May as well get used to it now.

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  4. It was always a hoot whenever I got to socialize with those who had the same work conditions and demands as I did. Daily it was just customers, employees and bosses – no equals. About once a year so I would meet with my counterparts in other operations and we would have a grand time. It really is relaxing and cathartic to swap stories and comments with others with the same challenges. I’m retired now but would encourage anyone with responsibilities to do that get-together as often as was reasonable.

    Good for your soul Victo.

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  5. The one thing you are never taught until you find out. Good company makes life bearable. Sometimes you have to simply get together and talk. I am not a keen talker yet I sometimes go out and meet because “fuck it, you have to.”

    All the best!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. The other day, my friend was off from work. It had been weeks since we had last chatted. I drove over to her home to catch up on things. I always come back rejuvenated. A godly friendship is hard to find.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. There might be something to this time of year — A psychiatrist for whom I act as a bookkeeper during my retirement, loves his work (he is an addiction specialist, mainly working with other doctors), but he closes the office down in August and goes to Europe (he has a thing for Italy). When he comes back a few weeks later, he’s refreshed and raring to go again for another year.

    BTW: Before you moan that you can’t afford it, consider this: while I’m sure it helps that he’s in his late 70’s, single, no kids, and lives alone, he’s always done this. When I started working for him 20 years ago, he was deep in debt, all his credit cards were maxed out, and he had no savings, but he did this anyway. He said there was no way he could do what he does year around without some sort of time off for himself. So he’d take his August break and go to Italy for three weeks. With help from me and his CPA, he’s been on sound financial footing for the past 10 years, and meanwhile he’s increased his time away to six weeks!

    It doesn’t have to be Europe, and it doesn’t have to be “weeks”, but everybody needs some rejuv’ing time. It sounds like you’re figuring out that a dinner here and there ain’t gonna cut it, Doc. Stop thinking of this as a luxury. The sooner you sit down and plan for some mind-soothing breaks, the longer you’re going to last as a doctor who cares…

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  8. I know you may not like this, but what you are feeling is as old as the world. In many religions, autumn is a time of self-evaluation. In my practice, we call this period the Time of Decent. These few months should be spent in introspection using tools like meditation, scurrying and other forms of vision quests. It is a time when the “veil: is the thinnest, and you can access your ancestors for help and guidance. And it is a time when women prepare for the darkness, which means they return to the earth center…think of plants. Think of hibernation. Think of curling up in a overstuffed chair and a fluffy blanket. When you burn so bright as you do dear Doc, this time is necessary to rejuvenate and ask what ever source you need for guidance of your life. So very natural.
    WE have a lunch bunch too and we try to have lunch at least once or twice a month on Fridays, very leisurely and full of bitching and consoling. We also order what ever we want and no one can criticize your choice. Oh the indulgences we do and it feels wonderful to bond and kibitz.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This makes total sense. Finding the time for introspection is difficult this time of year, which is what I think makes it so much worse. I feel the need without having the means. I have to do it, though, plan for the time to introspect. The pull gets stronger every year and ignoring it only make me so much more frustrated.

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  9. Soon everyone will be trying to get their elective surgeries in because deductibles have been met. We will double our volume and be short staffed. I hate my job more from October to January. 😐

    Liked by 1 person

  10. In addition to the earthy explanations of autumn, I still think of it as a time to start school. Even though it’s been years since I went to school, we start the school year (and introspection?) every summer’s end in our formative years, so it makes sense we would expect to be making a fresh start when the the cooler breezes begin. I like the earthy explanations too.

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  11. What ever we do for a living affects our life. Your job as a doctor (a good one I might add) and a Mom must be especially difficult. I was a working mom as well. Two boys and a girl, it all kept me pretty busy but I always found time to spend with my girlfriends on occasion. It tended to release the stress and frustration of daily life.
    Keep those lunches going you certainly deserve a little me time. I don’t know where you live but I used to live in New York and lived through some brutal winters. I found that baking helped me with the holiday spirit. I guess we all have something that calms us. You will get through it all, and in the end when your my age you will reminisce about those times and that will bring you joy. :o)

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  12. You are not alone, Doc. I struggle this time of year because I know what is coming. I do so well in warmth, not so good in cold. My favorite seasons have come and gone so I do feel blue and my energy just plummets. I have to force myself to keep moving and getting a smile to stay on my face. My DREAM is to live in a place that does not have the severe winters we do here. Perhaps this coming winter those who struggle, can stick together to gain strength from one another. I am determined to somehow LOVE winter this year and will be doing a lot more winter photography. What will YOU do to bring pleasure to you despite the cold North winds? ❀ ❀ ❀

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  13. I couldn’t deal without my doc girlfriends… As fitness geek(s) we often schedule walking dates. Bitching about difficult cases and even more difficult relatives, sharing successes and playing detective with each other’s medical mysteries – at the same time we get some fresh air and exercise πŸ™‚

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  14. There’s something very primal and very tribal that goes on at your lunches. You can try to manufacture the sense of sharing and relief by paying a psychotherapist, but it’s much nicer when the happen organically, as is the case here. Nice that you’ve forged these friendships.

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