In Praise of The Internists


While many of my posts reflect upon the failings of the healthcare system and fixate upon hospital life, I wanted to take a moment to recognize those who are most commonly confronted: the Internist or Primary Care Provider.

We talk about the long hours of hospital life.  We talk about how hard hospitalists work.  But we often do not recognize those that touch our lives most closely, who develop relationships with us over years, and who often identify things in us before we can ourselves (even us nurses).  We often do not take time to sing the praises of those who forego the hospital life in order to work 40-60 hour weeks but then do not get the two weeks off that hospitalists do.  We do not take the time to really thank those who do not get to take regular vacations and who are with us (hopefully!) for a very long time.

I pride myself on staying on top of my multiple, varied, weird, possibly borderline hypochondriacal (but I have clinical proof!) medical issues.  I pride myself on self-diagnosis and trying to make my providers’ lives easier.  I come in with clear problems and questions.  I make my follow-up appointments.  I (usually) do my labs and tests in a timely fashion.  Sometimes, I’ll even just make a quick call because we all know that my stupid recurrent UTI is nothing they really want to see me for.  I save time and effort and try to make life easy.  I have weird stuff, but that’s no reason to be difficult.

All of that said, I really wanted to take a moment to recognize my own current internist and at least one of my past internists.  I wanted to take a moment to recognize all that they do that is outside of our view as patients and as nurses.  Unless one works in a medical office or in billing or is married to a PCP, one does not appreciate all that they do in order to keep their patients well, taken care of, and often financially supported.

Thank you for the attention to my care.  Thank you for looking at trends and staying aware of them.  Thank you for glancing at my labs or even studying them before you walk into my room.  Thank you for remembering and being aware of these so that I do not have to always be the one to do it myself.  Thank you for providing care.

Thank you for the moment you rolled up your chair right next to me at my follow-up regarding my blood clot.  Thank you for your honesty and talking me down when I was possibly, maybe, a bit overzealous and overly aggressive and fixating on everything that might be another clot.  Thank you for letting me cry.  Thank you for recognizing when things were wrong and I was not okay, even when I was trying really hard to be okay.  Thank you for checking in and following up.  Thank you for letting go and referring out when something was beyond your expertise.

Thank you for doing the job to the fullest and being a real care provider, in the realest sense.

Thank you for doing a job that not so many want to do anymore.

Thank you for knowing your patients and caring for your patients.

I know this is not my most eloquent writing.  It is possible that I am a bit emotional today.  But what is simply true is simply said.

For all of the unappreciated internists and PCPs out there: we know the good ones.  We see you and we dearly appreciate you.  Thank you for extending yourselves and for making lives better.  Thank you for offering a long term relationship that can be one of the healthiest many of us will ever have.

Though not enough of us will ever say it, thank you.

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  1. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp

    I wish my Dad had lived to read this.  I think he’d have been surprised, and have secretly appreciated it. Thx for writing it.

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  2. Percival Thatcher

    TheRightNurse: I know this is not my most eloquent writing.  It is possible that I am a bit emotional today.  But what is simply true is simply said.

    It did the job. Well done.

    • #2
  3. TheRightNurse Member

    Percival (View Comment):

    TheRightNurse: I know this is not my most eloquent writing. It is possible that I am a bit emotional today. But what is simply true is simply said.

    It did the job. Well done.

    Thanks, Percy.  It was inspired by my doctor’s recent observations.  She notices things that other doctors never did or never bothered to.  I have had other great doctors, but she’s one of the best and I am so grateful.

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  4. Eleanor Member

    Our family practice doctor was great. We relocated to a different area. Having hard time getting a new doctor.

    Because of that we are constantly trying to coordinate and guess who is the best doctor for what. Not the best way to go. 

    Still catching up with the relocation and hoping to find that good family practice doctor. @therightnurse is correct. Thank you family practice doctors!

    • #4