I am a dinosaur
What I want with my patients
I have been jealous of specialists
45 minutes spent
face to face
just on their heart?
While I rush through
high blood pressure
low sodium, diabetes
in 15 minutes
meant I switched clinics
two doctors left over the EMR
the busiest two
I help maintain their practice
I saw my opening
the deal is
I want 30 minute visits
to update the EMR
The administration caved.
I love 30 minute visits
it's not that I attract
as my nurse once said
It's that everyone is complex
if you take the time to listen
In church the sorrows were
the death of a 3 year old
and of a young mom with three small children
poignant on Mother's Day
My husband turned to me and said
"There are always sorrows aren't there?"
Yes, and joys too.
I am told again and again that
I need templates for visits
I serenely assure the administration
My template is "Why are you here?"
and I can type fast
Mrs. Smith has hypertension, diabetes,
low sodium and hypercholesterolemia
Mrs. Jones has hypertension, diabetes,
mild renal failure and neuropathy
Would they write a template for each?
Don't be silly
Or a ten-minute-visit for each problem?
Ludicrous. And I can't lower the blood pressure
without attention to the sodium and diabetes
and everything else
I could go private and let people
schedule thirty or sixty minutes
but I love my diverse people and
my 80 year old ladies deserve
the same care and time
as the younger insured
I wish for a Congressperson or
Insurance CEO on my panel
rush them through in ten minutes
"We can talk about only one problem
you'll have to schedule another visit to discuss neck pain"
Ten minute visits
Make More Money
and destroy the soul
And it's Bad Medicine
I've talked to a psychiatrist
who works with doctors he says that
in Seattle primary care is pressed to see
a person every ten minutes
"They are burning out
and quitting in droves."
I think that he approves of
thirty minute visits
Every day people thank me
for spending so much time with them
I am a dinosaur doctor
I lumber from one room to the next
trailing my laptop
Written May 2006. The administration changed my schedule back to 20 minute visits after a year. I am no longer there.