Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy

10Jul/06Off

Depressio

Wow. I just spent the morning going through the social security death index (casually referred to as the SSDI on their website) trying to find out whether or not my patients were alive.

I mentioned earlier that this was a palliative treatment only. Palliative means that these people are going to die, because we aren't treating their cancers, just the symptoms.

So, I just found out that only 6 of my 15 patients are still alive. And the really sad thing is, I've spent a lot of time with these people. I've read up on all of the procedures that they've had. I know who had a bum kidney and who didn't. For that matter, I've been rooting for my favorite patient, Ray-ray (affectionately named by the department because he repeats his name over and over on the operating table). He's one of the lucky ones.

I'm a little surprised that I'm saddened. Well... maybe not surprised, because I spent 2 months of my life with those people, even though they were just words on a screen. I guess I feel like I know them.

I'm not a fan of the SSDI.

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