Nina Gaby

Essays, art, and healthcare

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“Me, Hypocrite in a Coffee Shop, Day After Christmas, 2015

hypocrite coffee shop…/2016/…/hypocrite-coffee-shop.html

Original title “Me, Hypocrite in a Coffee Shop, Day After Christmas, 2015”

This piece for KevinMD was a hard piece to write. When we sit with our patients throughout the day we focus pretty exclusively on who they are, what they are saying, why they are sitting in our office in the first place. We focus intently on what is the best right thing to do for them/with them. Later, we may worry about them, or we may binge on Netflix or immerse in the misery of all the documentation that we didn’t get to while they were sitting there, because we were listening rather than typing, but either way, it needs to be done. The lap-top-data-monster is ravenous. The point is, we are too busy to think. But sometimes, as I describe in the essay just up on KevinMD, we confront ourselves. Sometimes when we were really trying to do something else. Sometimes the sorrow, the exhaustion, “the vicarious traumatization” is unavoidable. We try to care for ourselves and it feels hypocritical. This soul baring/bearing piece is meant to start some honest conversation.