Nevertheless, I do pretty well even with some of the hard questions, if I say so myself. Don’t worry though, there’s no need for concern. Please know that I am not practicing with your license.
Relative to the home practice of medicine, it’s OK to look in our kids’ ears! You must remember the huge fight we had when our son exhibited all of the classic signs of an ear infection and you refused to examine his ears. I know you agonize when you make a clinical error with a patient, but this was just an ear infection. I would have taken him to a real doctor if he was sick enough to merit consideration of what you were worried about missing (brain abscess or meningitis). Really? If I had known how to work your otoscope back then, I would have looked in his ears myself. I’m still not sure how treating minor illnesses in our children is different from the same thing with children of our friends.
You have a perfectly reasonable excuse to be exhausted, yet you are often embarrassed when you fall asleep at our friends’ houses during social events. But the truth is they consider it a mark of true friendship when you go missing before dessert is served. When we were still new in the area and someone would realize that you had disappeared, I was mortified. I quickly realized though that our friends would all rather you and I join them than stay home entirely. No one is offended to find you asleep on the sofa (and your disappearance is now almost expected). To tell you the truth, I’m not sure anyone misses your conversation.
Meetings make the world go round, and your attendance is obligatory at many, even if you’d rather not attend. When I was still working, someone came up with the idea of a stand-up meeting. It was a brilliant idea that made meeting participants use the time more efficiently. Why don’t you propose that some of your administrative meetings be run that way rather than depending on me to page you, “Dr. Pressel, we need you urgently in room 23!”? Sorry I’m calling you out on this, but I’m not always available at the exact time you’ve specified that you want to be interrupted. Besides, it is sometimes amusing to hear that you fell asleep at some senior hospital administrator’s meeting.
I started this by writing that I never wanted to marry a physician, but the last quarter century with you has been the adventure of a lifetime. I just sometimes ask myself, “Why didn’t he become a dermatologist?” TH
Karen Pressel is the wife of David Pressel, MD, PhD, a pediatric hospitalist at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Del., and a former member of Team Hospitalist.
What I Want My Hospitalist Father to Know
Let me start out by saying that I think you have a great job and I am proud of you. But there are some things you should know. I’ll begin with the good ones.
We lead a very comfortable life, and I am grateful for all that you do for me. You don’t need to remind me, though, every time you manually scoop poop from some constipated kid that it pays for the roof over my head, clothes on my back, and my expensive university education.
I get it.
Even so, having a parent who is a physician is way better than having a parent who is, say, an accountant. I don’t need help with my taxes, but it sure is nice to get some quick medical advice when I have a rash. I even still trust you after you missed my broken arm when I was in sixth grade. Do me a favor though: Just tell me what it is and how I can fix the problem. Save the lecture on the pathophysiology, epidemiology, and differential diagnosis for your residents and medical students. It’s only poison ivy.