“The ER doc says he remembers you from when you used to work there.” She laughed. “He liked you a lot, said you were a really good doctor, that it didn’t matter what time of night, you were always dressed up, with flawless make-up.”
I would sleep in street clothes and make-up when I was on call so if I had a critical patient and had to go in, I was ready.
So do appearances, especially if you are a woman. People notice. It affects how they respond to you.
Much of healing has nothing to do with tests and procedures and drugs, as it turns out. A lot of it is showmanship, portraying confidence, treating patients with respect.
The thing is, and I never thought I would say this, I miss the hospital. Her comment made me think and I realized that I was having wistful thoughts. Somehow my hospital work felt more important than what I do now, only outpatient clinic. I feel like I spend most of my time pushing buttons, signing papers, attending this meeting or that meeting, trying to meet various measures. I miss being a stronger advocate, the firecracker spitfire who fought for her patients. I miss the adrenaline. I miss feeling like the sacrifices I was making were worth it.
That part of my life is over, though. There is no going back. It was a necessary thing at the time, stepping back. Now it has been too long. Things are too different. Hospitalists, dedicated inpatient physicians, save hospitals money so there is no role for me in that model anymore.
But I still look back on those good ole days from time to time… And think wistfully.