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“I’m not positive I can make it in for that appointment, since I’m traveling for work for the majority of those weeks.  Would it be possible for me to send my device data by email and have you review it for any issues?”

Without pausing, my endo said, “Yes, we can do that.”

We’ve seen a lot of one another over the last seven months, as my pregnancy has progressed.  Appointments are at least monthly and while we review the same things during every appointment, reviewing these same things is necessary over the next few weeks.  She made a note in the computer system and something occurred to me.

“Do you get paid to review those emails?”

“The emails?”

“Yes, when I email you blood sugar logs and you review them.  Are you paid for that?”

She paused from her typing.  “No.”

I never forget that the issues I have with the hospital system are not related to my endocrinologist specifically.  She’s forced to work within that system, and her ability to flex her capable caregiver muscle is hindered by billing codes and administrative responsibilities.  But I do forget that she goes above and beyond in many circumstances, oftentimes not paid for the work she does for her patients.  And I’m not nearly as appreciative of her work as a clinician as I should be.  It’s not her fault the system sucks.

“Thank you for doing that,” I said.  “I appreciate it.”  Our appointment continued.

Being a patient is hard work.  I didn’t choose this road, and I would not choose this road.  But being an endocrinologist is hard work, and her road was chosen.  I have to remember to say thank you more often.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. I love your doctor.

    I remember our previous endo specifically asking us *to email* Dexcom reports because she *could* get reimbursed.

    I won’t say anything that would allow a stranger to figure out which endo this is, but I have heard from a reliable source of one who answers questions via Facebook and text, often within moments.

    06/9/16; 11:22 am
  2. Dan #

    Hi Kerri,

    One of the biggest challenges in life to have an attitude of gratitude.
    You are correct, and spot on. Saying Thank You seems so simple, however, how many times do each of us use the phrase. Let me thank you for the reminder. As always have a great day.

    06/9/16; 2:00 pm
  3. Thanks for the very necessary reminder. I have also had reason to ask my “medical team” to respond to diasend logs in between appointments. Although the email is part of my electronic chart, it still takes time to read and respond and time is very valuable.

    Hope you’re doing well.
    Take care,

    06/9/16; 5:13 pm
  4. Like you I am so fortunate that my doctor and CDE accommodate requests like this. It is just one of those great things that is amazing about terrific health care professionals.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes blog page for the week of June 6, 2016.

    06/9/16; 9:03 pm
  5. Endocrinology is one of the lowest-paid specialties in medicine too!

    06/10/16; 10:47 am
    • It’s not right. They do a ton for their patients. But the system makes it IMPOSSIBLE for them to provide good care at times. 🙁

      06/10/16; 11:43 am
  6. Susie #

    Kerri this came at a perfect time for me to read this. I had a frustrating day at the doctors going from waiting line to waiting line, and yet because of those lines I now have a newer A1C test and will have new data to talk to my endo about. Your last paragraph said exactly what I have been thinking. I would not have chosen diabetes if it were up to me, but my doctors are doing the best they can within the system we have. Thanks for your words- they mean so much to me! 🙂 -Susie

    06/12/16; 12:05 am
  7. My CDE is also super amazing and reviews data in between visits, that she doesn’t get paid for. She does it because she is amazing and an awesome person and cares so much.

    06/15/16; 6:41 am

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