In life there are interesting coincidences. What if I told you I spoke to a lecturer who heard I was a doctor and said she just read a great book by a doctor - John Burley - and that I should check it out? And that when I looked into it, found out he was also an Emergency Physician? And also that he also went to med school in Chicago? And it was the same med school as me?

That's John. He's a great writer, and if you like my work, you will like his as well. 

He offered this as a guest post. It is a poem that distills some of our frustrations as physicians. The little things distract us from the big things. So much exists that takes us away from actual patient care. And we (physicians) don't like it any more than you do.


I went to go see you as my patient today

But there was hardly room to stand

The government was there with its sage advice

The insurance company close at hand


A lawyer showed up in his three-piece suit

With his yellow, wolfish grin

He promised you money, yelled, “The doctor’s to blame!

And I won’t take a dime unless we win!”


An inspector arrived from the accrediting board

And threatened to close us down

“You’ve been using the wrong type of soap,” he fumed

“You’re a menace to this patient and the rest of the town!”


I addressed their demands as best I could

And slogged through the paperwork, too

But I worry that the time I spent on all this

Could’ve better been spent with you




John Burley, MD

John Burley is an author of psychological suspense and an emergency medicine physician.  His debut novel, The Absence of Mercy, won the National Black Ribbon Award for a novelist who brings fresh voice to suspense writing.  His second stand-alone medical thriller, The Forgetting Place, is available now.  To learn more, visit his website at