Careers and Life

Medicine makes a lot of demands on those who chose to follow its calling. For most, the personal sacrifices are an unavoidable price that has to be paid. For others, the long hours provide an acceptable excuse for avoiding some of the messier details personal relationships require. This is true not only of medicine, but of any career where 60-80 hour workweeks are not the exceptions but the norm. Hope you all enjoy the weekend, and have a chance to take a break in order to recharge your batteries.


Taking charts home after work


The day work not done: into a big bag go charts

that are overstuffed with cholesterols and heart tracings

and spiking sugars from too much icing, and hearts

gone balloony. Charts snooze in the bag, kershuffle, and sing

of lives awry in diagnosis, askew in drug, kerplunk in grief.

I take the bag as homework, heavy in hand, and think

the more you love, the more you lose. And loss isn’t brief.

I write long notes as life’s abbreviations. Kerchink

goes the mechanism of my own care, too brief,

and I wonder what the chief lesson is, and who is chief,

what I can find that is not divine, if there is a link

between the satellite metastases and that reef

hung like noose over falling in love, and these charts

are testaments, manifestoes, omnibuses of broken hearts.


Shane Neilson

This entry was posted in Poetry. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Careers and Life

  1. Gayle says:

    Hi Jorge,It is sometimes easier to distract ourselves from the stuff of the Life we are living than to face it.  I can say that I have emploed both strategies and facing Life is really the better choice. Most of what you avoid catches up to you.  Hope you weekend and week are fulfilling!Gayle

  2. Beth says:

    Hi Jorge,
    My working career is behind me by quite a few years.  I can remember though the many years I worked and I remember my husband working a full time job and 2 part time jobs to make ends meet when our children were small.
    You come across as a very caring doctor and I thank you for that!

  3. J says:

    "For others, the long hours provide an acceptable excuse for avoiding some of the messier details personal relationships require". This couldn\’t have been said any better. It applies to so many activities these days that turn the heart from home.

  4. PJ says:

    Good Morning Jorge,
    I am working long, stressful hours, but I am thankful that I have a job. Sure I get extremely fatigued, but again..I AM employed.
    Until next time….Keep Smiling.

  5. Hope says:

    Ya know Jorge,I am thankful that I have ran across your give me a different aspect of the medical you shed light on the other side of the "table" so to speak..that is not the only reason of course for being thankful of meeting you.. just one of many well dear friend.. and have a blessed weekend.Hope

  6. Neora Chana says:

    Shane does a remarkable job of capturing the mixed feelings that can arise from taking the paperwork home; I\’ve hard similar feelings when doing my mental health charting.  Thank you.

  7. Marge says:

    Thank you for a glimpse into the human side of the healing profession, Jorge.
    Most of us are fortunate to have genuinely caring physicians watching over our health issues.
    The poem above is a testament to those in your profession who DO care.
    I am, as ever, glad our paths have crossed.
    Enjoy the weekend!

  8. Deborah says:

    Have we told you how much we appreciate your hard work, and then to take time to make us smile.
    blessed be

  9. KatSoup says:

    60 to 80 hr work week!.  I think I\’m breaking out in hives.

  10. sweeti's says:

    First of all  Jorge  I want to talk u  for ur comment on my entry  abt  male/female friends  after marriage.
    ur the first one   who totally agrees  with me  That friendships  dont need to stop at  the moment  ur wedding bells  are making music  lol
    my husband  and myself  we have friends  from the opposite  sex..  and  we talk to each other  like  normal ppl.
    U write  ur situation down…supurb   I wish i had written  it.
    now abt ur working hours….its true…i know that when u have  a certain  profession u cant say  ..OHHHH
    its  5 PM   i put everything down  and i find it back to morrow…
    I work in hospital   Jorge  I do the payments….and i see  the lists of our docs. In weekends  we have one  stand by  and  when i see his working hours..Man  ……PPl have no idea.i have.
    and  at  such moments  Ur half wedding book  need to understand  that these things come  with ur beautiful profession.
    Help ppl who need u. 
    Ur blessed person ..did u know that???
    God bless u and ur family.
    enjoy this free weekend..
    and  once again.Tx for ur supporting  comment.Felt good  to read  we are not the only ones who  have  male/

  11. Joe says:

    Hi J,
    This was very moving & poetic, but you know the reality gets much more complicated:  patients and doctors aguing with insurance companies just to make them pay for what they had agreed to pay…YOU MUST PROVIDE PROOF!   "This medication is too expensive, did you try medication \’X\’ first?"  They won\’t pay for this test or that test.  In the end, you stand back and appreciate it, saying to yourself, "I should be grateful I have insurance.  What would I do if I didn\’t have it?"  In a nation as wealthy as this (recession or not), people should have access to health care; ideally the best health care, but at least the minimum.
    Sorry.  I\’m rambling.  Maybe it\’s because it\’s election season & we (the people) deserve a concrete strategy…the time for campain slogans is over.  Forget the character attacks & mud-slinging, it\’s time for answers.

  12. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  A heart specialist surgeon friend of mine often works 15-18 hour shifts.  When we talk the conversations are brief but over the years are look in the eye honest.  Last night I asked him when will he be done with his work as he is aging.  He looked me in the eyes and smiled, then said.  " I love what I do".   In all of the arts, fine and healing that quality of care and commitment are essential.
    Thank you for another great post.  Wish you a great weekend and
    As ever be well,
    Stephen Craig Rowe

  13. dying2die says:

    hi there
    u remind me of my sis who is practising medicine in UK
    pretty far from me..
    when she was here i used to talk to her and all she would  talk about was of medicine.. lol

  14. Lisa says:

    I\’m sure you know all too well what this is like; yet, you speak of your family with such tenderness.  I hope they realize what they mean to you!

  15. Kathryn says:

    That poem made me think of the poem we (R&T) published in our summer issue: Kelley J. White\’s M&M\’s –
    Anyway, I just wanted to stop in and give you a wave! I don\’t get to visit as much as I used to and I miss all the goings on!

  16. Charlotte says:

    Great poem!  I so often wonder how the medical professionals manage to have a life with their families when they spend so much time in dedication to their patients.  I am so very grateful for the devoted, caring Doctors whom I have had over the years.  The past week has brought much peace of mind for my upcoming surgery and I am looking forward to a much better mobility when all is said and done.  Hope your weekend is a good one.  I do appreciate your stopping in to visit my blog from time to time.  hugs, lottemae

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