After four more attempts he gave up. He would order the ACEI, and if she coughed they would have to change it. He wrote the order to start low-dose ACEI. A screen popped up: Patient intolerant of ACEIs. Consider ARB. His pager went off again: Mr. D’s family waiting for results.
Dr. S checked his e-mail. There was a reminder not to miss his meeting with Committee R. There was a request from Nigeria from the deposed monarch’s widow for help regaining a vast sum of money, if he would only supply his bank account number; there was also an ad for “VIaGRow.” He searched the hospital database for Committee R, but before he could read the selection his pager went off again for extension 788988.
He called the hospital operator. The phone rang but no one picked up. His pager went off again: Sign discharge summary Mr. D.
The shift was finally over. Dr. S trudged down the hallway. At the nurses’ station there was a beautiful bouquet of flowers. The smell of anaerobes and melena was briefly replaced by the floral scent. As he walked off, the head nurse called to him. “Those are for you,” she mumbled.
“For me?” he wondered. At least someone appreciated his efforts. The annoyances and frustrations of the day seemed to melt away. He read the card: “Thanks for your excellent care. Mr. D and Family.” TH
Jamie Newman, MD, FACP, is the physician editor of The Hospitalist, consultant, Hospital Internal Medicine, and assistant professor of internal medicine and medical history, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn.