Leap year! I'll take this extra day to tell you about a question I got asked this week. I had just given a talk at the University of Washington and an audience member asked me how I stayed detached from my work.
"I'm not detached," I said. "I don't mind going home and thinking about all the people I've met in the clinic."
I just figure that there is something for me in every encounter and it's up to me to mine that experience for all it's worth. If I don't think there is something for me in every patient encounter then I'm going to get burned out pretty quickly. So that means I think about my day at home.
My model is Mr. Jesus who was never detached. Talk about no boundaries! He was eating dinner with whores and IRS men; letting little children climb all over him and going out fishing with the guys.
Doesn't seem detached to me.
I know this model isn't for everyone but I don't think I could do it any other way. That also means I've had "patients" over for dinner and selectively given out my home phone number. No regrets so far.