Profile of my Job

For those curious for a little nuts and bolts of daily life (or for that matter, any update at all on this blog, sorry about that), I thought I would give a little info on my job.

This is a picture of Lakeland Regional Medical Center, where I have been working since late January, and where I will be working for a bit more, until the first week of April.  It has about 160 general medical beds, plus a big ICU, Labor and Delivery, a huge ER, and a small peds ward. 

I am working there as a hospitalist, which means that I only take care of patients in the hospital, without doing any clinic practice.  The hospital employs quite a few hospitalists, and most days (8a-8p), there are between 10-14 of us working together.  At night, there are 2 or 3 covering.  We take turns admitting patients into the hospital, and generally direct and coordinate their care until discharge.  I am like most of the hospitalists, in that we are doing block scheduling, so I work 7 days on, and then 7 days off.  This is good from the standpoint that it has allowed Rachel and the kids to stay some in Ann Arbor, where they know more people, and I join them on my weeks off.

The hospital was interested in hiring some extra hands for this time period, because on February 25, the entire hospital switched over to an Electronic Medical Record, which was a huge undertaking.  So, the good news for us is that it created an employment opportunity for me.  The bad news was that I had to learn the old, complicated system just in time to ditch it for the new one.  Oh well.

The size of the hospital is interesting to me.  Almost any specialist is there, and almost any service or test can be performed.  Thus, I have only transferred one patient to another hospital for reasons of needing a service we couldn't provide (which was a heart transplant).  Nevertheless, it's not a real big place, and the number of doctors and nurses are pretty limited.  I've enjoyed this, because even after a couple months, I feel like I know the majority of them pretty well.

The other unique thing is that this hospital hosts a number of doctors from Southwestern Medical Clinic, which is a Christian group practice, with a commitment to international medical missions.  This is not all the doctors, but it's enough of them that it changes the overall feel of the place noticeably.  For example, when they hear that I lived in Kenya for the last two years, I don't get one of the normal responses, which is "So, are you with Doctors without Borders?" or "Did you take your kids there?"  Instead, I get "Oh, do you know Mike Chupp?" And I say, "Yeah, he lived across the yard from me."