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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.