Sunday, July 06, 2008

Why I enjoy working with my wife

My wife, Dr Anjali, and I work together in our IVF clinic. Sometimes our friends wonder how we can manage to live together and work together ! Don’t you get fed up of being with each other all the time ? is a common question.

I think we make a great team, as we have complementary roles to play. For example, even though we work together taking care of the same patients, we have a clear demarcation of our professional roles. Anjali does the scans and the egg collections – while I do the consultations and the lab work. This way, we both get to do what we like and are good at , which makes this a winning combination. We get a chance to focus on our core strengths and don’t have to do the stuff we don’t like doing or are not good at doing.

Our patients like this too. Wives are often much more comfortable talking to Anjali, while the men find it easier to talk to me. Also, some patients prefer her personality – while others prefer mine ( I must admit more prefer hers to mine !) This allows us to establish a rapport much more easily.

Since we work as a team, patients have access to an instant second opinion – for no extra charge ! Also, when we come across complex problems, complications, or difficult patients, we act as a sounding board for each other – and two heads are better than one.

Are there any downsides ? Yes, there are ! Not only do we argue about family issues, we also end up arguing about patients. While this is in the patient’s best interests, it sometimes does confuse patients who are not sure why we cannot agree. The more mature patients understand the importance of our disagreement. Medicine is not an exact science, and there will always be room for differences of opinion. Talking to both of us ( especially when we disagree) gives patients a much better perspective on their problem.

It’s taken me a long time to learn this, but Anjali’s intuition is far better than mine; as are her people skills. Now that I acknowledge this, I am much less likely to be pig-headed – and am more likely to agree she is right ( she usually is, but I realize this much sooner these days).
I think we form a balanced team – and since we are both on the same side, we have a very stable clinical practice – and a happy marriage !

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