The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections and I have in our suzerainty-vassal contract* the stipulation I am not allowed to write entries under the following circumstances:

When I am feeling sad.

When I’ve had a few whiskies.

Sunday evenings.

After hearing the news. 

Thinking about how old I am and how little I’ve accomplished. 

Interacting with telephone healthcare agents. 

I am in technical violation with the third stipulation but this is being published early Monday morning, so a technicality saves me from becoming bird food. 

This week at work I have no new patients viz. no initial evaluations have been scheduled.  I cannot recall when this last happened, if ever. This means my roster is so full The Bosses have put a pause on new patients as the established ones can’t get appointments.  I love my bosses more than my luggage, but we do have ructions about keeping my dance card filled.  If there are open times they become sorely vexed and people off the street are dragged in to be evaluated. A few weeks later the staff come to me vexed ‘there just aren’t any openings’ for the established patients who are wanting to return to clinic as soon as possible.  Oh the pain. The pendulum of feast and famine has been swinging this way for sixteen years, but this is the first time I’ve seen a full stop on the new ones. 

A curious phenomena occurs when patients can’t get an appointment: the doctor’s reputation improves. It is basic human nature to value better things that are scarce. I have a good Henley Street name, but when people can’t get in they suppose I must be a effing fantastic. “You must be good; I’ve been waiting months to see you!”

It will feel funny not to have new patients. Mind! They are more work than established folk, but they keep me on my toes. I never know who and what is going to walk in next.**

I must remember the present situation was not of my making, yet I will be called upon to accommodate it. I am a salaried employee; I am not paid by how many hours I put in. I will be pressured to see folks before and after my official work hours, and during my lunchtime as well. I am a nice person; I can easily say ‘yes’ and end up working 7AM to 7PM, even some Saturdays – and no more pay for it. I am not feeling keen on doing this, even though the howl of sharpened famine will resemble an orchestra of scorched cats.  I will be seen as mean or even selfish.  This will be a challenging.  

*The covenant is based on a contract made by The Hittites, circa 2500 B.C.E., called ‘The Stele of the Vultures’. The stele charmingly depicts vultures devouring the corpses of thems who violate the covenant. One does not mess around.

**This is one reason why I got out of cardiology. It was so predictable.