Do you ever wonder what physicians talk about when patients have left the examining room?
Aside from diagnostic and treatment discussions they tend to deal with the frustrations and inequities in patient care. The last few discussions I've had have dealt with the electronic medical record, outrageous salaries of administrators, and shortages of staff.
Is this any different from 20 or 40 years ago? Like soldiers in the trenches in all wars, there are a lot of complaints and grousing. but now the tone has changed. There is a sense of helplessness.
The system is broken and there are no easy fixes. The best we can do is to take the best care we can of the patient in front of us, do all we can to encourage new professionals working in the field, and do our best to make sure we are part of the solution rather than the problem.
John A. Talbott, MD