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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I am grateful for Sparky's last post about "Dr. Rude." I, too, have run into a Dr. Rude, and it's so not fun.

What I - sadly - feel of more often is the need to advocate for patients within my own clinic. It's true that many clinics are suffering across the country. Most are seeing fewer clients. We're worried about healthcare reform and Obama selling us out. We want to keep our doors open so we can serve women. I believe, however, when a business focuses so much on the operations of running a business, and forget the women, forget their stories, forget why they're here in the first place...then they lose sight of why our work is so important, and they'll ultimately lose business, too. (Unless, of course, they're the only provider in the area!)

I was recently told, "you advocate for all the women," as if that's a bad thing. Seriously? Are you kidding me? Since when is it a barrier to be passionate about this work? Since when is it a barrier to completely care with all your heart and soul about the women we see? Since when is it bad to go the extra mile, find a little more funding for a woman, and ensure she has a safe abortion in a compassionate setting?

Like Moral Pilgrim, one of our avid readers/commenters, I am very passionate about patient advocacy. It's what motivates me. It's what puts a fire in me. I think about the women. I fight for them because I give a shit. I don't forget that pregnancy impacts every.single.aspect.of.their.entire.lives. I don't forget that. I treat each woman with respect and kindness. Even when I'm fucking tired and would like to go home. Even after getting it in the ear about spending time with someone who is making one of the biggest decisions of their lives. Because guess what? You spend the fucking time, you give a shit, you put your heart on your sleeve, you are compassionate and genuine...and (as if, by fucking magic!) you'll have a good clinic, with good staff, and with patients who are fucking grateful and will go tell all their friends how great xyz clinic is.

Oh. And since most of us clinics get their referrals from friends/family, it's probably not a terrible idea to forget why we're here doing abortions. Because it's not about abortion. It's not about how fast the doctor can finish his job so he can sod off home for the day. It's not about the bottom line. It's about giving a shit. It's about LIFE. I will say that again: OUR WORK IS ABOUT LIFE. It's about EVERYTHING. And if you don't get THAT, you shouldn't be doing this work. And if you're in this work just because of a paycheck, or because you can't be bothered to look for a new job in a bad economy, or because you feel you have to be loyal to your business (even though you're finished and done with it all), then this is my suggestion: move on. Get a new job. Quit wasting your time. And a note to those of us in companies where maybe we're not so excited with the current philosophy of where we work: maybe we, too, should find a new clinic where clients come first. Really. Or start our own clinics!


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