I hate when people in the hospital abuse the fact that I, as a pediatrician, am much more interested in making sure that the right thing gets done than they are, and shirk their own jobs knowing that I’ll come along behind them and make sure that some family or child doesn’t get hurt by their brevity.

Last night, I spend an hour talking to a family about their five-week-old baby, answering their concerns and walking them through what was done to their child. What was the problem with this? The child was a neurosurgery patient, and as a pediatrician, I’m definitively not the right person to be doing this. But the neurosurgery resident spent no more than two minutes in their room — most of which was spent suturing a leaking wound that he initially insisted couldn’t have been an issue — and the parents got the sense that he felt overwhelmingly bothered by their questions. So as the pediatrician covering the neurology service overnight, I went by to see how they were doing, and ended up leaving an hour later.

(This morning, I was glad to learn that at least a little good came of it all. The chairman of pediatric neurosurgery came by our morning rounds to ask “who’s Jason?”; it turns out that the family had told him that the only person to actually spend time with them had been me, and that while the rest of his staff didn’t represent him well, at least there was a pediatric resident who made up for it. That made me smile a little. smiley: )