I don't want to sound like a whiner. I hate it when doctors seem like malcontents, complaining when their income is much greater than the national average. I am very lucky to be doing what I do. But sometimes it can be exasperating. It infuriates me to be subjected to a system where quality is rewarded with less pay; where doctors are motivated to not communicate or cooperate. Especially when my patients pay the price.
I am not psychic. I cannot know what happened in a three month hospitalization by placing my hands on a patients head and reading their brain waves. My staff can't know that a "hospital follow-up" visit is really a major dump because a patient's "insurance ran out". I don't have the supernatural ability to slow time down so that I can decode the crying of a spouse and confusion of a sick patient and put together a good plan in fifteen minutes. I am not a faith healer. I have no crystal ball. I lost my magic wand. The kryptonite has sucked out my power.
I am funny this way. I like to be called on the phone, not read Tarot cards. I want to know what is going on. Discharge summaries are better for me than tea leaves.
Yet somehow the impossible is expected of me. I am expected to pull the rabbit out of the hat - and do so with a smile of appreciation of what a great job I have. But I don't smile; I get angry. It is not fun; it stinks.
As much as it stinks for me, however, it is far worse for the patient. I can go home and complain about my day, but the patient has to survive when the system lets them down. The patient's family has to live in fear when nobody can tell them what to do. Doctors get frustrated, but patients get sick and die.
And that makes me furious.