Friday, October 22, 2010

The Empty Room

It stands as a monument to a bygone era; clean, quiet, spacious. Mail cubbies adorn the wall with hundreds of names beneath each one - most with dust, but a few contain a few pieces of multi-colored papers within. A bulletin board sits on a wall with skewed notices of a car for sale, a house to rent, or an upcoming meeting - hoping, somehow, that someone will take notice. In the back, an oversized coffee pot sits with day-old coffee and a few styrofoam cups where once there was a fruit basket, granola bars, yogurt cups and collection of pastries. A few lockers have padlocks, but whether they are opened any longer is uncertain.

A desolate expanse. If a breeze blew, you could almost envision tumbleweed passing.

It's just not he same anymore in the hospital's Doctor Lounge.



Jay said...

What happened?

Our lounge has gone with another approach.

Years ago, it looked a little like what you describe. Today, you can serve up a latte or mocha cappuccino with freshly ground coffee beans in giant self serve coffee bar machine. There are donuts, scones and bagels each morning. There's a fridge full of sandwiches and salads. There's a cooler stocked with bottled water, juices and soft drinks. The daily Wall Street Journal is on the coffee table next to the couch. Computer workstations are all around so you can catch up on your EMR work. The cable TV's playing CNN.

I think this is all in the name of hospital to hospital competition. I'm not complaining :)


DrWes said...

Jay -

* snif *

Interesting that such a "comfy couch" approach has taken hold at your facility. Here, thanks to the hospitalist movement combined with electronic communications, the need for doctors to share patient stories and camaraderie in the doctor's lounge has dwindled.

I think as hospital systems coalesce with doctors as employees and systems grow more geographically dispersed, the need to offer such pleasantries has diminished. It must be that inter-hosptial competition for doctors in your neck of the woods still remains stiff.

Anonymous said...


You need a vacation! (Haiti not recommended) You sound positively antediluvian. I remember when schools had art, music, and all offered 12th grade - but you bemoan the loss of a lounge? If your worry list is lacking, I'll be glad to send your mine.