* * Anonymous Doc

Sunday, February 6, 2011

"I don't have time for any exercise," said my 430-pound patient. "I'd like to do some, but I don't have time."

"Have you thought about just parking a little further from your job and walking?"

"And that would count?"

"As exercise?"

"Yeah, sure."

"Even though it's just, like, walking to work?"

"Yeah, still exercise."

"I figured if it had to do with going to work, it wouldn't count as exercise."

"Anything you do counts as exercise."

"So what if I park further away, and I walk to work-- and then I have to walk back to my car after work too-- does that count twice?"


"Do I get, like, double exercise, because it's both ways?"

"Yeah, it's double."

"No way."


"That's, like, I don't even know. No one has told me about this before."

"About walking?"

"About this whole work thing and exercise. Because I'm going to work anyway."

"Exactly. That's the point. We'll try and make it easy, so it doesn't have to change your life."

"I could totally do that."

"That's great. I think it would be a terrific start."

"Wait, one thing."


"I drive faster than I walk."

"Yeah, most people do."

"So it probably means I have to wake up earlier, right?"

"A little bit, depending on how far you're going to walk."

"Yeah, I can't do that."

"Why not?"

"I don't want to wake up earlier than I already do."

"You're over 400 pounds. It would really help to start doing some exercise, watching what you eat..."

"Yeah, maybe next time."

"But you were so excited!"

"I didn't know it involved getting up early. I can't."

"You could."

"Next time."


  1. **FACEPALM**

    (Though I do know what he means... sometimes those extra 3 minutes in bed really matter. Good thing parking near work is so expensive. Ha.)

  2. Waking up early and walking?? Too much.

    Maybe starting with thumb exercises on the remote control would motivate more.

  3. Stumbled upon your blog and just wanted to say i really enjoy your reflections on your experiences as an intern and resident and dig the inflections of humor that pervade even the entries on some of the sadder or more sober topics like your disillusionment with the profession or the oppressive death and illness you face everyday on the job. as a twentysomething who is considering a career change to medicine, your blog is really enlightening and after reading some of your most recent posts, have turned to the earlier ones and can almost track the subtle, but definite progression of your detachment and frustration with practicing medicine. i wonder and want to ask you, as someone who has just started considering this field and who (perhaps naively) is enamored with the idea of becoming a doctor because of the notion that there isnt anything more noble than saving or helping to improve another life, if there is anything redemptive about this job, even despite the sleep deprivation and all the bullshit. something that awakens in you and reminds you of the very reason you entered the field, beyond the supposed glories of money and prestige.

  4. Bwuh? Okay, walking an extra twenty feet does NOT require waking up all that much earlier (if at all).


    I'm disabled, and I WISH I could find a way to work some kind of exercise into my daily routine.

  5. Some more no-time exercises. Standing while on the phone. Tapping your fingers on the steering wheel while driving. Sitting up straight while driving. Buttock squeezes at red lights. (I suspect he spends a lot of time in his car.) Sitting up straight at the computer.

    Remember that being treated for diabetes will take a lot more time out of your day than walking.

  6. How 'bout spending less time eating breakfast???

  7. How about putting your fork down after every bite, and then picking it up for your next bite, and so on... Haha! I really like the story (: