You've changed.

No longer do we see you sluggishly walking en-route to work every morning with refillable coffee thermos in one hand, robotically scanning some kind of social media feed with the other.

We are concerned that the once regular and cyclic day-time group texts received from you are now occurring at odd hours of the night. Your persistence to move happy hour to 2am despite continual and unanimous rejections is unusual and annoying. We hear that your online dating messages to available bachelors go unopened and unanswered solely due to the odd hours that they are sent.

Unless you have compulsively quit your job at the hospital to write the medical novel of the century by candlelight, it is so obvious that you now work the hospital night-shift.


Reports of unusual activity are numerous and increasing. Close and reliable sources have spotted you in seedy 24-hour local taverns on weekday mornings, throwing back your favorite vodka drink in scrub attire with what appears to be a new crowd of work friends. Not only is this clearly concerning to us had you been assigned the day shift that week, but frankly offensive that we weren't invited. And the breakfast-themed dinners that we are requested to join? Getting old.

We rarely see you anymore. No longer do we get fake pages on our beepers regarding complex transfer patients needing emergent assistance or lawyers of patients demanding urgent phone calls. No longer do we share esoteric patient cases in order to simultaneously stimulate academic conversation and prove to each other how smart we are.


Although quite unannounced, we will admit that it is a nice a break from seeing you in the hospital.

The computers are suddenly less caked in dried soy sauce and coffee cake crumbs. The hallways are less full of the horse-trotting clicks of your self-important gait. The gossip of your inappropriate, too-revealing work outfits has petered to a steady trickle of nostalgic distaste.

But we miss you.

When we secretly identified your friendship with phrases such as "small doses" and "could go either way," we certainly did not imply a willingness to rid you from our circle of friends, only to see you figuratively and literally slip into the night.

Now that it is so obvious that you are working the night-shift, we formally request your return to days and back into our daily work lives.

Somehow life became a lot less interesting without you.
Brian Secemsky, M.D.

Medical writing for patients, students
and practitioners.

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