Word of the Year
Gretchen and Elizabeth released their Words of the Year in today’s Happier episode, so I figured – why not decide on my own?
Annabel was pondering along with me and suggested CLEAN, which I do think has merit. It ultimately inspired the word I decided on which is:
C L E A R !
CLEAR. As in:
- Clearing out clutter!
- Clear boundaries
- A less cluttered (more clear) schedule
- Clear goals + intentions
- Clear communication
Excited for a year of CLEAR. (And I didn’t even realize that rhymed until now . . .)
I do not set a yearly word every year. I did search the blog archives and noted that 2016 was PEACE (hmmm) and 2017 was BREATHE and 2021 was NOW.
We will see how CLEAR goes!
Speaking of CLEAR . . . (or, not CLEAR . . .)
This POF post fascinated me. This is part of POF’s Post-Fi Notes series, which is always thought-provoking and enjoyable to read, despite being nowhere near “FI” personally. In this particular installment, a surgical subspecialist in his 40s (with kids and a stay at home partner) has amassed ~10 million dollars in assets and zero debt through a combo of smart investing and relatively low yearly expenditures.
He has dialed down his work schedule to 4 days/week and is paying colleagues to take his weekend call (Side note: Good move and lucky! I’m not sure this would ever fly in my group, everyone dislikes call!).
But he is still working and spends HOURS every day beginning at 5 am dealing with his clinical inbox – filled eternally with patient questions, emails, and the like.
I have so many questions about all of this.
WHY hasn’t this been outsourced to an advanced practice provider (NP, PA, etc)?
WHY has he continued to be accessible in this way? Not every physician is or has to be! For example, I can’t just “Patient Message” my private practice OBGYN and expect a physician response, yet I still continue to go to her because she’s good and I like her.
WHY is he choosing to continue doing this when he has 10 million dollars and freely admits he hates this aspect of his career?
I am extremely interested in questions like these because inbox issues and the like impact my life significantly (Josh’s and mine).
Related tangent: I currently take one of my kids to a specialist that is cash only (100% recognize not every patient can do this) and private practice. Every so often, I pay a not-insignificant amount of money for 30 minutes of time spent with said specialist, and I do not mind doing so.
For other caregivers I use (or that I take my family to), I have literally never received a phone call directly from a physician when I have a question. It’s typically a nurse or other support staff, and the goal is to determine if an appointment is needed.
Seeing how I myself do not receive free care from other providers has led me to be less freely giving with my own time over the years. Because I DO think people serving as experts deserve to be compensated for time and attention given. There are absolutely exceptions (ie, a truly sick patient needs urgent advice) but for most questions, the answer is usually a) okay to be addressed by a non-physician or b) warrants an appointment, which sometimes can even be telehealth to make it convenient for everyone.
That applies to me (even though I’m a woman working in a lower-pay nonprocedural specialty and thus automatically expected to be giving and generous). It applies to my husband (though his burden is more about documentation than patient requests, from what I’ve observed — but could still be alleviated by more non-physician help, in my opinion). And it should definitely apply to the guy in the case study.
Thank you + Weather Update
Well. Apparently no one knows what the weather will be like in Montana in one week, because yesterday at one point it said the low was -31F and now it looks markedly less bad (though still cold), with low of 5 and high of 18 on day one, and low of 18 and high of 35 (!!) on day 2. So perhaps I should just . . . stop looking.
(The issue with not skiing on our first full day is that we already pre-purchased ski school, lessons, and lift tickets, because ski school/lessons apparently fill up. I’m not sure they are transferable to other days so . . . yeah. But if it’s hideously cold maybe they would be flexible, I guess we will see!)
((Thank you for humoring me and providing tips for what is clearly a very privileged problem to be having, concern about temps on a ski trip!!! At the same time, your suggestions have been truly helpful as I haven’t had to learn to really bundle up kids ever, and I feel less anxious! So thank you!))