* * Anonymous Doc

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I went on a date tonight.

An early evening movie date.

Don't ask.

I'm not going to write about the date, but I will write about the movie we saw.

Why I picked a movie that's even the tiniest bit medical, I don't know...

We saw Love and Other Drugs.

And I wanted to kill myself.

I mean, part of the movie made me wonder what the hospital looked like before they banned the drug reps. I wish we had pens. We never have pens. And free food that isn't pizza. I would totally give patients Zoloft instead of Prozac if we got free food for doing it.

But most of the movie made me wonder why they couldn't have hired a medical consultant to make the doctor stuff at least seem semi-real. At one point, Jake Gyllenhaal goes into the doctor's office-- this is a primary care physician, in an office somewhere in Ohio-- and tells him he wants the names of every doctor doing Parkinson's research and access to their studies. Uh, what does he think this doctor can do for him? Is there some universal doctor beeper he can call? Guess what, he's going to Google it, just like you can. Okay, the movie takes place in 1996... so he's going to... Yahoo it. Or Altavista it. Or whatever we were doing in 1996. He is not going to have some magic book with the name of every other doctor in the country and what they're doing.

Then there's the nurse who gives Jake's character a patient's phone number. Nope, not going to happen, not even if he's sleeping with her. Unless she wants to lose her job in about ten seconds. I don't know when HIPAA happened, but surely this was a rule even beforehand. And not just a little rule. This is a big one.

I won't even get into resting tremor vs. action tremor. Or why they were recruiting for Parkinson's patients at the doctor convention across the street. Or how Prozac magically and instantly turned around the life of a homeless man. Or the entirely non-medical issue of how a car somehow catches up to and finds the very bus he's looking for on the highway when he doesn't even know he's taking the right route. Or what kind of crazy libido these people have. Or why, why, why Jake's character decides at the end of the film to go to medical school. Good grief, doesn't he know how many years of hell he's signing up for. He's not going to be a doctor until he's in his 40s. Insane. Completely insane.


  1. Oh jeeze. Next time check the summaries in Fandango or something. Going to the movies is supposed to be an escape from reality. Not a slap in the face of your reality. And next time the car catches up with the bus that had no business catching up with the bus relax and say to yourself "isn't that cute? Fun movie!" or go see a vampire movie...

  2. I remember years ago reading this blogger who was a temp. Notmydesk.com. Used to be pretty funny. Maybe still is. Haven't read him in years.

    Anyways, he once described being a continuity checker for the movies. That's the person that makes sure a character's cigar doesn't go from full-length to half-smoked and back again between cuts.

    Well, it bled over into his real life, and he found himself always trying to keep mental track of all the objects and people around him. "Cigarette just lit. Glass 2/3 full. Man scratching left butt cheek with right hand." He had to quit or go insane.

    Happened to me, too, when I first started editing. Had to force myself not to care about the typos in whatever novel or article I was reading.

    Although some of your entries suggest you might be better of if you quit doctoring before you go insane, I suspect you (and your many future patients) would be better served if you just work to let these things go. Maybe someone in your circle of associates can help with that. Isn't there a professional courtesy factor for MDs? You could tap a psych for some sessions. Or coping tips, at least. Maybe see a CSW at the hospital?

    But whatever you do, don't see a vampire movie. Yeesh.

  3. See? I wrote "better of" instead of "better off" in the first line of paragraph 5. Doesn't bother me, though. Not a bit. Yep. Not a bit.

  4. so how did the date go? Did u get a kiss for sitting through the movie?