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Who was the Asshole in the ER? | Sanjay Shewakramani, MD


Who was the Asshole in the ER? | Sanjay Shewakramani, MD

people are [ __ ] trust me i'm a doctor i know i've seen over 50 000 patients in my career so i can say it with confidence it's really easy to be an [ __ ] let me explain every friday night in the emergency room it feels like there's a full moon out the results of bad decisions come pouring in all night this one friday night in the summer of 2017 i'm the only doctor on duty the ambulance report for the patient in room 13 is pretty typical chad has been drinking chad got in a bar fight chad fell down hit his head now has a big laceration and he's been fighting us the entire way in great so i have to babysit this guy who can't handle his alcohol all the way till the morning but not only that i have to suture up his wound now don't get me wrong i love suturing it's one of my favorite things to do at work it gives me time in an otherwise busy day to slow down get to know my patients maybe tell a joke or two when they're sober i start suturing he pulls away i say stop moving his response i'm sorry i'm trying but he's bobbing and weaving the whole time it's like asking my cat to behave i can beg and plead all i want but i know at the end of the day my cat is going to do whatever he wants while mocking me the entire time in the middle of everything another patient comes rolling by like i need any more of this i walk out of the room fling off my gloves and expect another drunk but i don't see a drunk i meet frank frank's 80 and he's coming with shortness of breath and frank is the nicest guy i've ever met and i spend a lot of time with frank and at the end i tell him everything's gonna be okay and i'm leaving his room and he goes hey doc thank you for taking care of me and in that moment i'm feeling better but i walk out in the hallway and look at room 13 at chad and i think why can't you be more like frank why do you have to be such an [ __ ] i storm back into his room you've wasted enough of my time i have other patients sicker and nicer patients and you don't deserve any more of my time that's exactly what i'm thinking as i'm stitching up his wound as fast as possible and that's when his fiancee walks in what's happening drunk bar fight fell down he'll be yours soon enough drunk but he he told me he wouldn't be drinking tonight i don't know what to tell you you can see for yourself he's wasted and she walks over to him and lets him have it she starts screaming i can't believe you'd be so irresponsible i gotta say it felt pretty good to hear him get eviscerated justice served it's just a shame he was wasted though he wouldn't learn his lesson from this some people will never change i'm walking back to my computer and my phone rings the radiologist he says you're patient in room 13 he's got a lot of blood on his head ct he's not drunk internal bleeding in his brain has caused him to act this way chad hadn't been in a bar fight he'd actually tripped and fallen he hadn't been mocking me i've been mocking him he'd been listening to me as well as he could i hadn't been listening to him or his fiancee he hadn't shown bad judgment i had he wasn't the [ __ ] i was unfortunately chad would be okay he'd leave the hospital after a few days but i wouldn't be i spent the next few weeks hating myself for celebrating someone else's suffering but i couldn't help it i spent my entire career seeing people's stupid decisions and thoughtless actions ruin their lives i was forced to feel this way at the same time i was rereading one of my favorite books how to win friends and influence people by dale carnegie in it he quotes abraham lincoln don't criticize them they are just what we would be under similar circumstances life is difficult and when it gets really uncomfortable our default is tacked in a way that is not our best that goes for you and for me it's the default it's easy and it's natural and it's okay but i didn't like the person i'd become and i knew i had to find a better way through reading reflecting and practicing i developed a seven-step process to help me when life got really uncomfortable the first hurdle though is recognizing those moments luckily my body is smarter than my brain so i rely on it a quick twitch on the right side of my mouth tightening in the muscles of my neck clenching of my jaw they all tell me the same thing that the outside world isn't aligning with my inner expectations and in those moments when i want to yell when i want to criticize when i want to worst yet physically act that's when it's time to pause and breathe now sometimes pausing and breathing isn't enough but that's why i've developed those seven steps they're not easy they take practice and i'm still getting better at them but they're helping me become the type of person i want to be for my patients my friends my family and my colleagues i started this talk with the words people are [ __ ] i now start every day with the words we're all the same because we all have that default to not be our best when life gets uncomfortable but we all have that ability to use and recognize those moments to try to become better i'll leave you with this to do the hard work to be our best we must first realize how easy it is to be the worst that we see in others are you willing to do the work thank you you الإنجليزية (تم إنشاؤها تلقائيًا)