The Dawkter's Wife - It's all champagne and caviar now … dahling

The Loony Bin

August 20, 2012

Medical Mondays: The crazy phone

We came home from vacation last night and picked up the animals from the “pet spa”.  4 cats, 1 dog, 5 kids and 2 tired parents.  This is the first time since Thomas finished training that we have actually taken an entire week’s vacation!  With all of the changes in healthcare, he is taking a 10% pay cut.  After years of worrying about RVUs, taking his computer with him every trip to check in on patients (uncompensated of course) and even taking calls (uncompensated), he left his computer at home and didn’t answer his phone.

It seems that he has decided that with all of the subtle pay cuts that have happened with removing consultation codes and now the 10% cut … he isn’t really willing to sacrifice his life anymore.  Yay me…yay us….Not sure what it says about how his attitude about work will continue to evolve though.  We are glad that we aren’t just now working through medical school or residency.  I can’t imagine what the new people will do with all of their debt when they are finished with the financial landscape changing so much.  We have forfeited Disney trips and family vacations for years to pay down our debt and our reasonably modest home.  I get envious at times when other med spouses talk about their new 5500 square foot homes, luxurious vacations and brand new cars (mine is a 2003) but I’m also relieved that we will be able to do with less.

This morning, Thomas had a dental appointment before going in to work.  He accidentally left his cell phone on the center island.  From 8-9am (when he got home) his phone rang literally non-stop.  Non. Stop.  Physicians, hospital operators, and unit coordinators.  I explained to the hospital operators that he was at a medical appointment and could they please not call until after 9.  They continued anyway.

It was ridiculous.  I would go crazy if my phone went off like that.

He started returning the calls as soon as he walked through the door.  Most of the calls were curbside consults.  That means that he doesn’t bill for these.  He answered the questions patiently and didn’t leave the house until nearly 10am.  That means it will be a very late night for him again.

I often wonder why I don’t hear more from physicians about the pay cuts that they are taking.  There are so many articles out there right now blaming doctors for the high cost of healthcare without considering the high costs of litigation, insurance company ceo salaries, or the fact that as consumers we want everything possible done:  Knee pain?  Patients want an mri.  90 year old grandmother with end-stage cancer and alzheimers?  Family wants dialysis and more chemotherapy.

We are all responsible for the rising costs of healthcare.  I’m just glad that with all of these changes Thomas has come to his senses.  We are already planning our next vacation…and I’m guessing this one will be without the computer and cell phone too.

To find out how the blog hop works, read more here.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.