The days till the end of my fellowship are coming closer and closer. Because of various schedules and the way life goes, I have had to begin the process of saying goodbye to many of my patients. Its been much harder than I anticipated.
Yesterday I saw one of my patients for the last time. A 7 year old with Asperger’s Syndrome and I was telling him how this was going tobe the last time I saw him and how he would have a new doctor. He asked if I could ever come back and visit. I had to explain how I was moving far away to Atlanta, Georgia and how I would not be able to. The look on his face when I said I would not be able to and how serious he was when he asked me this, nearly killed me… this is a kid that sometimes its really hard to tell if you are connecting with him so for him to ask me just shocked me. There was also the set of siblings I saw earlier this week who have come soooo far since I started seeing them and having them come to the realization that they are going to have to learn to be able to talk to a new Dr.. (these kids have been extremely traumatized and are now doing fabulous!)It just breaks my heart. I find myself worrying if their new doctor will take good care of them. Not to say that I am perfect but I want to make sure my patients are well cared for. Some of the parents I think are more anxious about my departure than the kids. Several patients I am going to see in joint appointments with their new doctor. Even my adult patients dont want me to leave . (My outpatient clinic director jokingly threatened me with 3-4 more years of residency). Its pretty amazing and I have been reminded by others that its a positive thing because it means you did a good job with them. Several parents have come by and said how they are going to miss me. I apologize for the rambliness of this post but my experiences over the last few days have really gotten me thinking. This leaving is much harder than I would have expected !