Sunday, February 10, 2013

Being introduced

My mother, not in medicine, and this mother in medicine, went to have a biopsy.  Her biopsy.  By a surgeon.  I am not a surgeon.  Nor am I a doctor for adults.  My day to day is infants, toddlers, school-aged children, tweens, and adolescents.  And medical students.  

How does your mom introduce you to her doctors?  My mother introduced me to the surgeon whom she herself was just meeting at that moment, as her daughter.  Sounds reasonable.  Started off well.  Though this was immediately followed by, “she’s a pediatrician.”  I paused briefly at the stark declaration, and softly came up with, “…who knows nothing about what you do.” 

Why did I demur?  Why so modest?  The surgeon and I might indeed speak the same language (though she much more tersely).  But I need not hover, make her nervous, nor imply that the reason I’m there is because I’m a doctor too.  The reason I was there was to support my mother.  As a daughter.

But alas, I guess I was also there because I do speak, or at least understand, that language.

[Results not in yet.  Somehow felt okay to post here on MIM in the interim.]


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  2. My mom introduces me like this: "This is my daughter, she's a surgeon!!" Then I am horribly embarrassed.

    Now, she doesn't even have to introduce me anymore. Apparently she has done this so often that there must be a flag that pops up when you open her chart that says "patient's daughter is a surgeon, just mention it the second you walk in the room to spare yourself!" because now, no joke, brand new docs walk in to meet her and say, "So I see your daughter is a surgeon.." and then they proceed with their questions! I love my mom more than anything, and despite the moments of embarrassment, the fact that she showers me with proud affection is part of what keeps me motivated during tough times - so I just embrace it!

  3. Ha, I hear you Cutter! I shall (quietly) embrace it, and her proud affection indeed. Love trumps embarrassment. Thanks.

  4. I was in the ED with my mom about a week ago - she is OK but had a fall on the front porch and unfortunately her glasses cut the corner of her eye badly. Luckily the ED is right next to my office in the lab so I could pop back and forth and check on her. She did that thing - introducing me proudly to everyone as her daughter the doctor. I am finally getting that it is her pride in me and not to embarrass me (which it inevitably has in the past). I think the ED doc knew that I, as a pathologist, had no idea how to glue her face (or whether or not she needed glue or stitches) but there is a relaxation around peers that happens, and it is nice. Yes, we speak the same language, even though we all realize that we have different areas of expertise.

    I can talk to a surgeon - deal with them every day. But I still freak out and depend on my pediatrician friends as kid ailments are a bit of a mystery to me. Everything presents so differently in a kid than an adult and the more I inhabit the adult world of medicine the more I lose whatever I learned there in training. I'll bet that surgeon knows little about what you do too.

  5. My mom also annoucnes (inappropriately) to anyone who is or is not listening - my daughter is a doctor!! And then she will tell them I am almost done with my "residency". MOM.

  6. Thanks Gizabeth and The Red Humor, agreed, the announcement is an announcement of love and of just being proud. Soon she'll say my daughter, the attending! Glad your mom is okay, Gizabeth.

    1. I hope yours is too, T. Will be sending lots of B9 thoughts.

  7. I haven't been in that situation, but I'm sure it would come out right away, with the first breath. Not to impose any kind of accountability (well, maybe not the primary reason at least) but to to be proud, to introduce colleagues. The surgeon must understand that, just like everyone else, we also support our family and take off work to be by their side.

  8. I thought it was just my parents.

  9. My mom just says "oh, she's just a GI fellow, not a real doctor yet." Way to keep me grounded, especially when it's to the endoscopy lab nurse (who, actually, already knows who I am).

  10. Thanks all. I like hearing the various ways our parent(s) introduce us (to those we may already know!) whether we are fellow, resident, attending, pathologist, pediatrician, or surgeon, AND daughter. Proud of us, but keeping it real... grounded!


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