Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Singing The Body Electric

Hacked off.

Lethargic, a bit febrile, and with, as ever too much to do, and too little motivation.

Spent the weekend with La Belle Fille, but was so intent on trying to make her proud of me in front of her friends, rather became a show off, and then something of a penis. Just once, it would be nice if I could cut loose without being an arse; mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Have found sleep hard to come by the last few days, so increasingly ratty at work. I always resent being tired ad grumpy at work; it makes me short with people who don't deserve it, or at times when more could be achieved with less acid on the tongue. Particularly frustrating to me today were the efforts of some of my surgical colleagues to avoid admitting an old boy with a dental abscess.

I fully recognise that I am, at times, less than the most conscientious doc, but I always try to do my job. I do not turn away from what is difficult, because it is so.

So, when confronted with a patient labouring under the ravages of a dental abscess, it would be nice if this was greeted with pleasure; not at the illness, but at the opportunity to make someone better.

Not with excuses, and lame promises to treat the patient "as an outpatient", while at the same time suggesting admission under an alternative team. To say that, as a doctor, you do not know how to treat someone who is confused, should really be too embarrassing to contemplate. Instead it seems to be a valid reason for not treating the patient.

I find this increasingly among the surgical specialities, who seem set on returning to the days when they were not Doctors, but tradesmen. One of my orthopaedic colleagues, when referred a patient who had, with a sharp knife, opened her wrist into the joint itself, declined to take on the patient because she had also taken an overdose, That the OD was non-lethal, and over 12 hours old meant nothing to him. He was genuinely afraid that the patient might become unwell in a way that was beyond his ability; and was quite prepared to neglect treatment of her semi-severed wrist to avoid such a possibility.

I sometimes wonder if we all really did go to medical school...


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