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I hate the patients I'm suppose to serve!

I work in a physician's office in a very upscale community.  The patient'sówho I once loved and were the whole reason for my wanting to be in a medical environmentóhave become my enemy.  The office is extremely busy, the doctor tends to run a minimum of 1 hour behind.  All I get all day long is complaintsócomplaints about waiting, being accused of not booking properlyówhen the "boss" insists I book the way I do.  On a very full dayópeople will call and demand to be seen, stating they have infections and all other kinds of emergency like situations.  When I give in and tell them that I will work them into the schedule, they are most often there for routine type care.  I feel so manipulatedóand mistreated.  I have been doing this for 15 yearsóbut have never felt like this before.

What can I do?

Docpotter's Reply

You are in a burnout situation and you are experiencing the result ­ itís damaging your motivation ­ and your spirit.

The problem is probably insolvable because it is the doctor ­ heís a poor time manager ­ among other things ­ but YOU are taking the blame.  You are being punished (essentially) for his failings.

You need to find a new job.  Youíll be snapped up ­ donít worry.  Donít delay, the damage you are sustaining is taking its toll and it can be hard to reverse.

In the meantime, attempt to discuss a solution with the doctor ­ only he doesnít see the problem , probably doesnít see it as a "problem" and is probably not motivated to change.  Change for him will be hard since this is a long standing ­ entrenched problem which he is blind to.  And worse, he doesnít see what a gem he has in YOU!

Also, while you are still there you can make it a grand challenge to soothe each upset patient ­ and they have a basis for being upset ­ just like you do.  Those who trick you into squeezing them in ­ they are just surviving ­ they know what this doc is like.  Itís no use to blame them

Also, while you are still there you can launch into self-observation ­ like a scientist ­ notice exactly what and how of this awful process of killing your spirit.  This will help.

But these are short-term band aids.  This is probably not a fixable situation.  Donít beat your head against this docís wall of problems.  Itís a boom economy ­ very VERY hard to find qualified people.  Youíll be snapped up.  But prepare yourself so as to not come on negative and depressed or whinny about your old (current) job.  This, too, will be a challenge.

Hang in there, Baby!


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