A Lesson Learned
She remembers something about every patient, but they mistakenly conflate the importance of their life with her knowledge of it. Despite always providing quality care, I see people coming through her door drawn more by the illusion that she somehow cares more about them (and their lives beyond the walls of her profession) than their physical maladies, mistaking her provision of care for another kind of caring altogether. She sees this too: it works for her as a business person.
To be a successful businesswoman, now with 20 employees, she has made many choices. None have benefited her (financially) as much as her conscious choice to embrace her role as the ever-caring clinician. Every patient feels at home as she greets them in the waiting room. She remembers Jack’s grand-children’s names and that Janice’s mother is at Menora Park for rehab after a hip fracture. She speaks with Alice about how her son is in detention and with Aaron about his 1957 Chevrolet pickup. They appreciate the opportunity to establish a unique relationship with a medical provider, feeling they have connected with her, and that she has connected with them.
The connection is undeniably strong. It is so strong that after 25 years of practice in the same town, she does not go out with her colleagues for drinks after work. She shops for groceries at 6:00 in the morning. She prefers staying in her lush lakeside home, embracing solitude. She is exhausted, tired of caring.