She sends me messages all the time. Snarky. Accusatory. Judgmental. Always in the middle of my busy day. Sometimes the messages come all at once, sometimes spaced out just enough to make me think she’s gone for good. I’ve slowly developed a hatred for her. I’ve never met her, but I loathe her. She sits in a cubicle somewhere, drilling systematically into my charts, searching for my mistakes.
She points out my shortcomings.
Who are you to judge me, lady? You don’t know me! But she’s right. Damn her. Most of the time, she’s right. Except sometimes. And when she’s not, I let her know. Snarky. Accusatory. Judgmental. I’m not above that. Except, I really am and I feel a bit guilty. She’s just doing her job, that I pay her for. I need her to do this to make sure I am doing my job so I can get paid so that she can get paid so that the cleaning crew can get paid and the light bill gets paid and the vaccine vender gets paid and the nurses get paid and the front office gets paid and the rent gets paid and I keep this place going.
It all comes down to documentation these days. And I try my damnedest to get everything possible documented, but I just can’t always do it. Sometimes I fall short. I fall short in documentation of all things. Big deal. As long as I don’t fall short in taking care of my patients. That’s what really matters. Isn’t it?
I just want to tell her that. Listen, lady, I’m a good doctor, maybe I’m just not good at documenting. I’m taking care of people. I can’t possibly document all the nuances of that! The hugs, the tears, the jokes, the laughs, the relationships, the ‘thank you’s,’ the secrets, the hurts, the joys, the loss, the healing, the fears, the hope. All of these are worth so much more than a payout. I can’t document that or get paid for that. That‘s the good stuff. That‘s what keeps me going.
I did a little reconnaissance and looked her up on the company website. I wanted to know what that lady looked like so I could a put a face to those accusatory messages. That was a mistake. She looked nice. How can I hate her anymore? Now I just have to redirect that anger on myself. Great. As if being a doctor doesn’t give one enough reasons to feel imperfect. Powerless. You know, like untreatable diseases and death. And now I’m at the mercy of documentation. Something else I can do nothing about.