* * Anonymous Doc

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Despite the lack of updates over the weekend, I was still at work. I have two weeks of vacation coming up starting a week from Friday, but it's straight through until then-- New Years Eve, New Years Day, etc. Being in the private hospital for the past few weeks instead of the public hospital has caused a few observations:

1. People with insurance feel entitled to make unreasonable demands. I've had a number of patients' families demand the patient be discharged at a certain time of day because it's most convenient for them. It's one thing if that time of day is "before 5" or "in the afternoon" -- it's quite another to be told that there's a one-hour window from 3-4 when they will be "able to accept him." Or one who demanded the patient be discharged before 7AM so she can get to work. We're not a concierge service. There are tests that need to be run, discharge summaries to write, doctors who need to sign off on things. The process takes time. Just because you have insurance doesn't mean you can dictate my schedule.

2. Similarly, two patients have threatened to "write letters" to the hospital CEO complaining about their care. One was complaining that the food wasn't any good, and the other was complaining there was nothing good on the television. Again, we are a hospital, not a hotel. If you are well enough to complain about the food or the cable, you should leave. Also, they should know that the CEO really won't care about their letters.

3. At the public hospital, patients are very deferential -- I'm always called doctor, and even the drug addicts and alcoholics seem to respect that we're professionals, even if they're belligerent and don't want to listen. At the private hospital, I've repeatedly been called by my first name, asked by families to "clean the bathroom better," and told that I don't know what I'm talking about because of something they read on the Internet.

As I write this post, I'm realizing-- it actually hasn't been the patients doing any of this, almost entirely. It's the families. The families of people with insurance think this is a hotel, not a hospital. And it makes the job much more difficult, because I have to deal with them.

No more complaining in 2010-- that's the resolution-- so I need to get it all out now.


  1. Can you go back to the public hospital? You seem to like it there more!

  2. Complaining is important. So is learning to deal with families! Maybe you should resolve to do something more fun :)

    Happy new year, anonymous doc!

  3. Its not easy being polite half in the grave. People are poking at you constantly asking you the same ten questions every five hours. Your in pain you ask for some morphine you get it and dont stop getting it even though your no longer in pain because after all its in your chart and the more meds the hospital can charge you for the better. Yes and why is every doctor in the building called to see me? they didnt do any thing they spent two minutes with me didnt exam me basically stood in the door way and charged me 3to4 hundred dollars a piece nice going thanks. Yes dying or feeling like your dying is boring and depressing so a nice meal or entertaning dvd or tv should be understood. Im already feeling like crap thats been drove over twice by an eightteen wheeler I dont need some over worked spoiled doctor taking out there miserable schducle on me I dont need that a matter of fact just discharge me Ill die at home with out your fustrated self becasue you cant figure out whats wrong me at least my family can have the money to burry me than paying you and your useless test.
    Sent for a scan for every hair on your body then loose them sent back for more hey wait a minute those arent cheap. Yes and those annyoing family members are going to have to help me pay for all of this so stand up stragight put a simle on your face and answer every single question they have even if its not related to me like who do you have for the superbowl or whats on the lunch special at the restaruant across the street and find me something good on tv to watch Josh henery or whatever your name is.

  4. I'm not understanding your complaints about people with insurance wanting to schedule around their work hours to deal with the hospital. The only reason they have insurance is because of those jobs. I know plenty of people who were laid off because they took too much time off to deal with an ill family member. Sure, it's illegal, but it happens all the time.