Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Time is More Valuable Than Yours

A few nights ago I was on call.

We had the usual collection of urgent cases, nothing really that couldn't wait for a few hours or even a few days. One of the surgeons had two cases. They were less urgent than the other cases we had so would normally be done after the more urgent cases.

Now this surgeon who is a nice guy, started asking if he could go before the other cases stating that he had to be home by a certain time because his wife was going out of town for a few days and he had to be home to look after the kids (and presumably have sex with his wife before she left).

Now the bottom line here is: he is on call. I am also on call and I have personal things in my life that I have to miss when I am on call. So when I need to do something in the personal area, I ask one of my colleagues to cover for me. Occasionally somebody is able to do that. Some surgeons are in very small groups or do procedures that only they know how to do. Now this surgeon has a large number of other surgeons in his group who could have covered for him and it was a very basic procedure. But instead of calling up one of his colleagues he instead makes the nurses and me feel guilty.

This isn't an isolated case, surgeons are always pulling this stunt to get their cases done.

The bottom line is we all have to take call some more than others. We all have a personal life (some more than others) which our work affects. But when you pull a stunt like this, you are saying, my time and my life is more important than yours.

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