Years ago, before this all began, no one told me that once a month, I would become homicidal, experience mood swings, and develop intolerances/shortened fuses—especially toward stupidity. But here it is—the time of the month I dread:
New Resident Rotation.
Yes, today is the day I began to get to know my new Residents, and they began to get to know me.
Two of the little darlin’s came to within a DDP of being sent to a fiery place south of here today—and I don’t mean South America. In recognition of this, I have composed an Open Letter to my Residents.
Congratulations! You have achieved much in your young lives. I am you Patient Care Coordinator (in nonVA-land I am comparable to a Case Manager). I can make your month-long rotation through my ward, one of intensely gratified learning, or it can become your living nightmare. The choice is ultimately up to you.
I’d like to take this opportunity to explain to you why I don’t call you by your first name as you insist on introducing yourself, and to share three truths with you.
First, I call you Dr. (insert your last name) as an outward sign of my respect for you. Not because I am your “handmaiden” (I am not), but because you have worked hard for that title and distinction. By refusing to call you Johnny-Bob or Sally-Anne, I am bestowing upon you the honor and respect you deserve.
And now for the truths:
Truth #1: You have forgotten more about medicine and the human body than I have learned. I would take my hat off to you, if I wore one. That is an accomplishment. Well done.
Truth #2: Although you are a physician, your orders will not always be blindly followed. Especially here at the VA—where, in addition to your order, you may also be required to have the agreement of a consulting service in order to obtain what you feel your patient needs. Sorry, but even though some of you think your title of physician is synonymous with God, it is not.
Truth #3 (and this is one you should seriously consider heeding): I know VA policies and how to accomplish what you want within VA-land. It’s not like nonVA-land. Change here takes an act of Congress. Literally. Therefore, when I tell you what the process is, don’t attempt to circumvent the process. Don’t argue with me about the process. Don’t ask me four (4) times in a matter of minutes as if you believe the process has changed. And especially don’t think you can wear me down and I will relent and give in to your demand—if I relent and do it your incorrect way, you will not succeed in obtaining the needed service or evaluation for our patient (see above for the reason the process has not changed in the last decade, let alone the last hour). Please, just follow the process as I have outlined it for you. You will be happier. Your patient will received the evaluation or service he qualifies for and needs. And I will not have to resort to killing you and disposing of your body. I’m running out of ideas. And DDPs