The FP-ED Chimera

Between ED shifts today, my daughter and I had an outing. The off-hour ED shifts have limited our time together – especially this July and August, when I’ve had shifts on most days and weekends. So we need to plan time together. We started at the YMCA, where I ran into patients I knew from my days in Family Practice. It reminded me how much I like these people, and whom I miss cultivating those relationships with – good for an introvert like myself. My daughter noticed this as well – how much primary care ties you to the community.

What a contrast to the ED – establishing relationships at critical watershed moments. We don’t have the longterm relationship, the baseline trust going into the encounter. Last night there was an airway emergency – an adult with likely bacterial tracheitis with a bedside nasolaryngoscopy showing an airway obscured by pharyngeal edema and pus. Fortunately airway was maintained and she was safely flown to tertiary care. I’m attending the Levitan airway course in September and it cannot come too soon. I wonder how the patient and her husband viewed the relationship. I wonder if I’ll ever run into them at the YMCA and if we’ll remember one another.

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