Medicine is a profession of response.
Physicians exist to respond to things. All day long my clinical work is sequence of responses to all kinds of things. Symptoms, signs, concerns, reactions, questions, findings on diagnostic studies. When my Epic inbox is empty I go home. There’s nothing to do. If things stop happening to children that need my input I’ll be out of business.
Emergency rooms are great big response spaces. No one goes to the emergency room when everything’s fine. They go when something’s happening. When something’s emergent.
Believing that physicians are here for anything other than to respond is fantasy.
In a perfect world physicians would exist to prevent response from ever being necessary. The day is coming when we will prevent, predict and preempt.
But it’s not a perfect world, yet. And for now we just respond.
(Oh and when I’m not responding I try to create.)
Image via flickr