Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Will Anybody Care?

There are certain habits I'm not proud of. Certain things that are better left unsaid. But there's no embarrassment in the radio station that I have chosen to grace my ears each morning as I drive to work. That's right, I have ditched the top forty dance music, escaped the salacious morning DJ's, and landed on something more sublime.

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?


tracy said...

i will.
i have an excellent Primary Care Physican and i treasure him.

i care.

Thank you, Dr. Jordan.

Deb Boyce said...

I will as well.

My PCP is my age, and I worry what I will do when he decides to retire. I don't want to start over with someone new.

I treasure him and our relationship, carefully crafted over oh so many years. He's the top associate in the clinic now and I was told he's not taking new patients.

My daughter aged out of her pediatrician's office, a couple of years ago, and we were caught unaware when pneumonia hit her hard and fast this summer. Her pediatrician saw her but said she's need to find someone new.

I called my PCP's office and asked if he'd take on my daughter. He did, and I am grateful.

My son starts college in the fall, and although he could stay on with his pediatrician for a few more years, I'm hoping my dear PCP will take him on as well. So my son can see what a good Primary Care Physician is all about!

Thank you for sharing, Jordan!