Lesson learnt on a busy day..

“The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.”

William Osler
interlaken

My schedule is full, each patient today
Is complicated in his own unique way
I am running late from one appointment to another
Have to finish on time to fulfill my role as a mother
Each patient deserves full attention that cannot be
Provided in the fifteen minutes allotted to me
I work through lunch hour, a break is not
In my stars today-oh, and I totally forgot
That I have to call back another physician
About a mutual patient, for a joint decision
In the few minutes that it takes to get a patient ready
I make that phone call, proud of my efficiency
Towards the end of my work day, about to see
My last patient, I am trying desperately
To wrap up my work, trying to be
As brief and efficient as feasible so late in the day
I am about to conclude my last visit, when in the usual way
I ask my patient to voice any questions or concerns
Almost out of habit, hoping there are questions none
When the patient seems to struggle, and then says
He cannot find words to express himself, I am unfazed
About to rush out of the room, there is a moment
Sudden-I remember what word-finding difficulty meant-
I turn around and ask the patient to name
Simple objects, he fails- he is not to blame
Though the rest of his neurological exam is benign
I have picked up, of a stroke, a subtle sign
There isn’t a moment to lose, here time is brain
I get him to the emergency room, the visit does not go in vain
He has a stroke, and I am ready to cry
In relief, reminding myself yet again why
Despite the obstacles that life poses every day
Distraction must not, ever, get in the way
Of treating a patient, otherwise subtle clues
Can be missed, a physician has a lot to lose
If that happens, and be subject to
Self-criticism, erosion of confidence too

That was a good lesson learnt, I shall not forget
The attention my patient deserves, he or she shall get.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Shweta says:

    Love it! If only the administrators and whoever else decides doctors’ schedules could be made to understand that patients are not allotted time slots but real people…sick people, who need our time and attention and careful assessment! 😡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Laxmi says:

    Liked the poem. Can’t perhaps add more to what Shweta has already said.

    Like

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