Working in Hawaii is sure different than a vacation, but for the length of time I'd just as soon be working, and of course getting paid!! Otherwise one could ill afford it unless you're filthy rich or just wanted to go thru your retirement quickly. (Actually I would do it free if I was filthy rich!) I love the job here--as a joke goes--'I love going to my job; I just hate the 8 hours until I go home'.
That's not true with me: doing pediatrics at Tripler is the 'Everest" of peds to me; there are 7:30 rounds where a problem in a child is broken down to its essential parts hx, phys, labs, daignosis and differentials, and rx; the residents are quizzed and anyone can offer or ask for information. Other larger conferences are held if I have time from my schedule which is manageable with 10-18 pts. Also the staff docs and nurses are incredible and always ther to help. Everything is on computer--EMR and most times it works.
I really enjoy getting to know the parents and kids; it's amazing the number of coincidents (God incidents) that occur. Just the other day a mom said she was born in Hawaii, and at the old Kaiser hosptial; I hated to ask when but she said anyway Nov 1973. Wow!! I said I bet I could have been your pedatrician!! Several parents have lived in Fayeteville; since we have been there for 34 years I suppose its inevitable.
I love to have the 3rd year students from U of Hawaii Med School and the Uniform Med School in DC; they are eager to take part in the hx and phys and eval of labs, studies, and assessment and plans; this can lead into more analysis and discussion of the problem after the pt leaves; I love to throw them questions; so far they are pretty sharp!!
As for getting to Tripler, I have to get up about 430 and hit the road by 615 if I'm going to make the 730 rounds; traffic is a problem but I've got my route and can usually make the 9 miles in 30-35 minutes. Listening to Radio KINE or Hawaii's NPR, learning my barbershop songs on my iPod, or talking to Shirley makes the time past quickly and of course the scenery ain't bad!! There's still plans to put in a monorail type mass-transit. Impact studies re the environment seems to trump all other issues.
Re being here 5000 miles away from Shirley (she'll be here in less than 4 weeks now-yeah!!), J WH and the grandkids in Fla, and Chris in Texas, and home for these 6 months, I compare it with the military guys and girls who are deployed to far more hardship areas--'the sandboxes'. I rejoice with a tinge of guilt that I am here trying to do the best job I can for these families. I feel unworthily blessed. I will look back when I do go home, that this has been the most special opportunity of this time of my life. God has done this for me. My job right now is to fulfill His gift to me to my utmost. Thank you, Lord.