Eyes Bloodshot, Doctors Vent Their Discontent

Sandeep Jauhar in The New York Times:

Doc “I love being a doctor but I hate practicing medicine,” a friend, Saeed Siddiqui, told me recently. We were sitting in his office amid his many framed medical certificates and a poster of an illuminated lighthouse that read: “Success doesn’t come to you. You go to it.” A doctor in his late 30s, he has been in practice for six years, mostly as a solo practitioner. But he told me he recently had decided to go into partnership with another cardiologist; his days, he said, will be “totally busy.”

“Your days aren’t busy enough already?” I asked. The waiting room was packed. He had a full schedule of appointments, and after he was done with his office patients, he was going to round at two hospitals. He smiled wanly. “Just look at my eyes.” They were bloodshot.

“This whole week I haven’t slept more than about six hours a night.”

I asked when his work usually got done.

“It is never done,” he replied, shaking his head. “See this pile?” He pointed to five large manila packages on a shelf above his desk. “These are reports I still have to finish.”

As a physician, I could empathize. I too often feel overwhelmed with paperwork. But my friend’s discontent seemed to run much deeper than that. Unfortunately, he is not alone. I have been hearing physician colleagues voice a level of dissatisfaction with medical practice that is alarming.

More here.