Monday, June 18, 2012

Oh, The Patients You'll See!


Today is your day.

You're off to Great Places!

You're an attending on your way!

You have a stethoscope around your neck

And a prescription pad in your pocket

You know how to examine the oropharynx

And even the eye socket

You're on your own. And you know what you know.

And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

You'll look at many practices. Look 'em over with care.

About some you will say, "I don't choose to go there."

With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,

you're too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any

except those that make you moan.

In that case, of course,

you'll start one on your own.

There's more freedom there

in the wide open air.

In private practice things can happen

and frequently do

to people as smart

and studious as you.

And when patients start to line up at your door,

don't worry. Don't stew.

Just remember what your learned in residency.

You'll do what your mentors would do.



You'll be on your way up!

You'll be seeing great pathology!

You'll walk in the footsteps of giants

And be brilliant without apology.

Others will lag behind, because you'll have the speed.

You'll pass the whole gang of consultants and you'll soon take the lead.

Wherever you practice, you'll be the best of the best.

Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don't

Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so

but, sadly, it's true

Diagnostic hang-ups

can happen to you.

You can get all hung up

in a prickle-ly perch.

And your consultants will fly on.

You'll be left in a Lurch.

You'll come down from the Lurch

with an unpleasant bump.

And the chances are, then,

that you'll remain in a diagnostic Slump.

And when you're in a Slump,

you're not in for much fun.

Regaining the confidence in yourself

is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the text books are not marked.

Some pages are lighted. But mostly they're darked.

A place you couldn't diagnose a sprain of a hip or elbow

Do you dare wait it out? Do you dare consult ortho?

And IF you consult ortho, should you go with Dr. Kim or Dr. Right...

or maybe you should call rheum? Or, maybe, not quite?

Or get an Xray, you shouldn't decide blind?

Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,

for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused

that you'll start to pace

down long winding hospital corridors at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.

The Fear Of Litigation Place...

...for people just waiting

to get sued.

Waiting for a suture to blow

or a lab to be lost, or blood to flow

or the mail to come, or the process server to show

or the phone to ring, or the patient to know

or waiting around for a Yes or a No

Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for a fever to break

or waiting for the graft to take

or waiting around for the rash to flake

or waiting, perhaps, for a call from the patient's Uncle Jake

or a cough to clear, or a Better Break

or a trusting glance

or Another Chance.

Everyone is just waiting.


That's not for you!

Somehow you'll escape

all that waiting and staying.

You'll find the bright places

and forget what the lawyers are saying

With lab coat flip-flapping,

once more you'll ride high!

Ready for any illness under the sky.

Ready because you're that kind of a guy!

Oh, the patient's you'll see! There are diagnoses to make!

There are lungs to be auscultated. there are cultures to take.

And the magical things you can do with that brilliant mind

will make you the smartest doctor of all time

Fame! You'll be famous as famous can be,

with the whole wide world watching you give press conferences on TV.

Except when they don't.

Because, sometimes, they won't.

I'm afraid that some times

you'll be lonely too.

There are demons you can't cure

'cause the demons are inside you..

All Alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

A doctor is quite a lot.

And when you're a physician, there's a very good chance

you'll see things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won't want to go on.

But on you will go

though your mood be foul

On you will go

though the microbes prowl

On you will go

though the sickley howl

Onward up many

a frightening creek,

though your arms may get sore

and your stomach may be weak.

On and on you will hike

and I know you'll hike far

and face up to your dilemmas
whatever they are.

You'll get mixed up, of course,

as you already know.

You'll get mixed up

with many strange diseases as you go.

So be sure when you step.

Step with care and great tact

and remember that Life's

a Great Balancing Act.

Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.

And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!

(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)



be your name Mayo, Mohs, or Mcbride

or any of the other giants we talk of with such great pride,

you're off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your patients are waiting.

So...get on your way!

Adapted from Dr. Seus, Oh! The places You'll Go!


Anonymous said...

Dear Dr. Grumet,

This is a great post. So true, the ups and downs of medicine!

Keep up the great work on your blog, I enjoy reading your posts.

Best regards,

Dr. Brian Sabb

Maggie said...

Oh, My!

Thank you for the giggles, the wry agreements, and the two belly laughs.

Altogether too true, and lovely with it.

Prison Doc said...

Not a great poem but it definitely captures the essence of practice.

Mark C said...

I am the thorax, and I speak with a wheeze.

Very creative!