I still work in the same practice that I joined when I finished residency almost 9 years ago. My partner did the same thing about 15 years before me. It’s just the kind of place and the kind of people that you don’t leave. And you don’t change.
A few months ago, I looked up from my laptop while seeing a patient and realized that my clinic rooms are hideous. How have I let this go on for this long? I haven’t changed anything about my rooms since I joined the practice. The same ugly framed prints hang on the wall, the paint is chipping on the baseboards, and screw holes are showing through the drywall.
I did change one painting about a year ago. A patient of my partners was seeing me for an acute problem. She had never been in my rooms before. She had a huge smile on her face when I walked in. I was sure she had heard of my wonderful reputation and was so glad to finally meet me.
That picture. Is it by so-and-so artist?
(So it wasn’t me she was smiling about) Umm. I don’t know. Do you like it?
It’s a painting of my mom’s home place. My grandmother’s home. My mother was born there. I have always wanted a copy of this painting. It brings back such wonderful memories of my childhood. –She stared longingly at the picture.
You can have it.
What? I can have it? How much do you want for it?
No. You can HAVE it. It’s yours. -I took the framed picture off the wall and handed it to her.
She was actually doing me a favor. I am not really THAT generous. I hated this picture more than all of them. The excitement that I saw in her eyes over this particular picture was all it took. It belonged to her now, it always did.
The picture was of a winter scene. A dilapidated home was covered in fresh snow. The trees were bare. There was an outhouse. Ancient farm equipment poked out intermittently and haphazardly from the winter wonderland. The only thing warm and inviting about the picture was the smoke billowing from the chimney. It must have been warm in the home, but everything else looked like ice cold hell to me. Winter is depressing. This painting was depressing and I always hated it.
But she loved it.
Now a painting of an urn of flowers hangs in its place. Almost as bad, but not quite. I took that picture off the wall of our procedure room. No one seemed to notice.
I’ve decided to redecorate my clinic rooms for the first time in 9 years. I’m going to pick out my own pictures, my own paint colors, and brighten things up a bit. No winter scenes will be allowed. I’m going to make some changes. Want to see what I’m going to do? Stay tuned for before and after picks…