No good can come of it

I wish I knew what it was like to deliver good news. I wish that I knew what it was like to tell someone, "It's a boy!" or something good. All my news is bad. Even my good news is really just neutral. It's stuff like, "You didn't have a heart attack!" It's never very pleasant.

I saw an orthopedic surgeon once, and he encapsulated our experience very well: "I'm a nice guy, but you don't ever want to meet me." That pretty much describes my day. I'm damn good at what I do, but if you're seeing me, no good can come of it, only getting back to neutral.

And it only takes one day of telling some lady her husband is dead, telling a family their loved one is terminal, telling a husband that his wife had a massive MI, and I realized today that if I was a patient, I wouldn't want to talk to me, because what good can come of it?

2 comments:

the evil resident said...

I dunno, hearing "It's not cancer" when you were sure it was sounds pretty good sometimes. OK, so it's not exactly like telling them they won the lottery, but it doesn't have to be all grim reaper type of stuff. Small triumphs ;)

Hopefulmd said...

Having read your Aug 14th entry before this one certainly leads me to conclude that hearing bad news from you would likely be much more sensitively done than hearing it from some of your colleagues. When the "what" can't be changed, sometimes it's all about "how" it'd done.