Should Try This
Paul S. Koch, M.D.
When you're surrounded by a loving wife, adoring kids, and loyal workers, all shouting in unison that you have become a big grouch and would you please go off and get some rest, you might be tempted to wonder why they treat you so shabbily. Is it your fault that the practice cannot survive without you, and unless you attend to all patients every waking moment it will become a shambles? Don't they see that if you weren't available to evaluate that case of pink eye, it might have been misdiagnosed as red eye, blue eye, or cockeye?
Still, when faced with the family and working ranks united in rebellion, you pause and consider. Maybe life would go on if you slipped away for a couple of hours, or even took off an entire day, you admit. Peering at angry faces you agree to a few days, even a long weekend away, but could you at least take your journals to read? Then, once you suspect that they have, in desperation, tainted your food in order to force some rest, albeit in a hospital, the wisest among you will finally concede defeat and agree to yield to their best intentions, stubborn blockheads that they may be.
Last spring I beat them to the punch. Sensing revolution at home and in the office, I spread out the summer calendar and checked out the weeks the kids would be home from school. There were ten, so I marked off five. Five weeks to work, five to wish I were. Then, of the five to work, there's no real reason to work on Fridays is there? Gone. Now I was down to five four-day weeks. Toss out a few holidays and suddenly I was due to work only 17 days the entire summer. Could my world, could my practice survive without me? Could my family bear to see me that much?
Whistling While I Work
Yep. World survived. Practice thrived. Family reconnected. And I realized I waited too long to do it. I won't wait too long to do it again. I'm working hard now to get the bills paid, but who cares? I'm an all-around happier fellow who still irritates people, this time by his singing and whistling at work. Gee, it's
Ophthamology Management, Issue: October 2003