We’ve lost our Dick…

Okay, so I was officially an Olympic-level grump for yesterday’s National Grouch Day. Our clinic lost a superb human being – and a wonderful clinician – to a sudden, untreatable paroxysm of (brace yourself for this one) retirement. Excuse me? How selfish is that? Doesn’t he know there are more important issues at stake here – like moi? Work is just not going to be as much fun. There is a weird set of social strands that we have yet to name in our society – the people we work with who don’t quite make the shift into our personal lives, but actually share more weekly hours with us than many close friends. Perhaps the intimacy and stress of healthcare delivery exaggerate the highs and lows of these relationships – anyone who’s worked in an ER, or a busy clinic, for example, knows the thoroughness that you get to know someone: how they perform under stress, how their brain works, if you can trust them in a crisis, even how they see the value of different humans. Among nurses, docs, even clerical staff, there are surprisingly raw emotions that get shared. So losing the fabulous Dr. Dick (yes, he has tenaciously refused to settle for the less evocative “Richard”) is more of a blow than I expected. Rarely have I worked with someone so shockingly irreverent, so intellectually fearless, and so iron-cored with excellent, compassionate values. Patients have already wept, and I’ve already wallowed in my sulk, all because I know, really know, that now my work life will not be as richly textured, as vibrant, or as fun. Sigh.

So, for Dick, in honor of your own cheeky irreverence and your last day as a doc (oh, what a loss) and in honor of yesterday’s National Poetry Day-

A Bene(dick)tion Haiku

Dick – you left! Ah, f*%#.
Thrust and groan of work-joy, lost.
We’re flat. May you throb.

Do you agree with the need for a new name for work-relationships, or the claim that healthcare delivery reveals our inner natures? Or have you written something yourself yesterday? Share all in the comments section below…

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