Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Will Anybody Care?
My dial is set to 91.5, national public radio. There's something about the reporting style, the ebb and flow, that draws me in. The content is superb; the stories informative. My car becomes a haven of calm and warmth in the midst of the frigid Chicago winter.
So when I heard the name of my hospital role gently off the lips of the voice on the other side of the speaker, my ears perked up. It appears a celebrity was admitted overnight. Someone who garners a lot more attention than any of the poor souls who mistakenly end up in my office.
As the story continued, I was gratified to hear the reporter specifically mention that the patients "primary care" doctor attended to him in the hospital and even accompanied the ambulance to the tertiary medical center for further care.
She didn't say surgeon. She didn't say neurologist. She said primary care. For once someone, a newscaster nonetheless, was giving credit to my beleaguered and haggard choice of specialty.
But who was this brave soul? Who was this role model for the next generation of internists and pediatricians? My heart sank as I got the answer, it was a local cardiologist. He was not an internist, not a family practitioner. He was a cardiologist.
Now don't get me wrong. He's an excellent physician who over the years has done his share of general medicine. But I couldn't help but feel a little let down. How are we going to get young physicians interested in primary care if the only time it's cool to be one is when your are a specialist taking care of a celebrity patient?
God forbid, don't leave such an important case to an ordinary primary care doctor with so little training.
One day you'll look and we'll all be gone.
Will anybody care?
Posted by Jordan Grumet at 6:01 PM