Every month readers tell their stories--in 40 to 400 words--on a different healthcare theme.
I'm an ob-gyn, so the middle of the night is like a normal workday for me. I view the drive in at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. as my transition time from interrupted sleep to an important moment for my patient and spend it reminding myself to make the shift from fulfilling my needs to theirs.
Unfortunately, in this reverie, I sometimes lose sight of the speed limit as I'm driving, particularly in 25 mile-per-hour zones. Not that I get speeding tickets all the time, but I would say that the majority of those I have gotten were during these middle-of-the-night drives. I would typically hand over my hospital badge along with my driver's license and proof of insurance.
Nevertheless, my plea of "I'm on my way to deliver a baby" has rarely made an impression--except once, when a woman police officer stopped me. As I explained my predicament, I could see flash before her a memory of the night she'd delivered her baby, a memory of the relief she had felt when her doctor walked into the room.
With a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye (at least, that is my fantasy--it was dark, after all), she said, "Go do your work, and be careful." Off I went, to help bring another life into this world, without a speeding ticket.