Viewpoint: How to manage when the doctor cannot come in

March 10, 2011

How can a practicing physician cope with being out of the office for months?

Due to a childhood automobile accident, the thin scar covering the bone on my left foot was eroded, creating a nonhealing wound that grew out Pseudomonas.

This is not supposed to be the way it is. I'm supposed to be taking care of my patients, running around my office, going to the hospital, doing a bit of administrative work in the office, and then coming home to work out.

This situation would be frustrating for anyone-and especially for a physician.

I can't spend time walking back and forth in my kitchen, preparing meals. I can't go out to dinner with friends because I have to keep my foot elevated. I can't work out. I can't get to the beauty salon to get the gray covered.

COPING WITH ABSENCE

But with a situation filled with "can'ts," there is always a bright side. So, how can a practicing physician cope with being out of the office for months?

The hardest thing for me is resting because I am so used to working. Being off my feet so much and being dependent on others is tough.

Somehow, I cope. My husband and daughter are cheerful and keep telling me not to feel guilty about having others do so much for me.

One great thing? Friends bring food and chocolate.

And the best thing? I am healing.

The author is a practicing family physician, journalist, and medical educator. She shares a practice with her husband, Eugene Eisman, MD, an internist-cardiologist.

The opinions expressed in The Way I See It do not represent the views of Medical Economics. Do you have an experience you would like to share with our readers? Submit your writing for consideration to medec@advanstar.com
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