I'm Still Alive

September 16, 2019 1 min read

I'm Still Alive

Let’s face it -- practicing oncology is super stressful.

Especially when I first started.

I was a newly-minted oncologist.

The healthcare system was the healthcare system.

In all its documenting "glory."

And I let it get to me.

Couldn't really talk to anyone about it.

Many days, I would live for the moment I could go home and binge-watch ESPN.

I’d go through my day as a zombie robot.

“Next patient, next patient, next patient.”

"Next... bzzzzrrrrrr....patien......ttt....zzzzzbbbrrrrrrrrzzzzzzzzzzzzzz."

It didn’t help that all I did was type.

Type all day.

More eye contact with a damn screen.

"What brings you in today Mr. Johnson, oh sorry, Mrs. Johnson!"

And then 3 hours at the end of the day to do more charting.

It’s was all about charting and documenting.

Documenting and charting.

The EMR screamed, "Feed me, Steven, feed me!"

I was like, “Another patient. Only 5 more until I hit my morning quota of 18."

But I got help.

From a patient.

She said, put that laptop away -- it's killing you."

She was right.

She took my hand and led me to the promised land.

Where I always put patients first.

Really connecting with them.

Being fully present with them.

I resuscitated my passion for oncology.

I reconnected deeply with all my patients.

I vowed to never again put a computer between me and a patient.

And I never did.

I got an amazing scribe.

Life altered.

All eye contact -- all the time.

Work and play became harder to differentiate.

I'm still alive.



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