Carts passing in the night
I got called in last night to do an emergency echocardiogram. On the way down to the ER with echo machine, i got on the elevator with a gentleman from the food services department with a cart of late night snacks for patients -- as in one AM late night.
i struck up a conversation.
"We're both pushing carts at this hour...I didn't realize turkey sandwiches were in such demand this late at night."
"Yeah man, you wouldn't believe what people order at this hour... cottage cheese and pears... Trouble is, the nurses put in the order late, and half the time, the patient's asleep by the time they get their food," came the reply.
"Sounds like you and I are in the same line of work, this late at night," I said.
"No man, you guys are miracle workers man... The stuff you do is amazing."
"That's not quite true. People think we're always one step ahead, but actually, we're usually two steps behind... Just like you and that cottage cheese."
That resonated, and he chuckled knowingly. As the elevator door opened and I started pushing at the echo machine, he said, "treating but not curing, huh doc?"
The doors closed and I was left with that thought. We can cure some stuff, but in cardiology, we mostly treat and patients are left on medications for life. Wouldn't it be nice if we could get a jump on things like coronary artery disease and keep it from happening in the first place?