* * Anonymous Doc: Death to the death certificate man

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Death to the death certificate man

I get a call at the nurse's station during rounds, from the morgue. They need me to come down and fill out a death certificate for one of my patients.

"And we'd really like you to do it now."

"I'm seeing patients right now. I'll come down after rounds."

"Come on, it's the weekend, we'd really like to leave early."

"Fine, fine, I'll come down now."

I get there. The guy I need to talk to is on the phone.

"Yeah, totally, bar, drinking, bar, personal conversation, blah, blah, blah...."

He holds up a finger-- give him a sec. I think about holding up a different finger. I don't. His co-worker sharing the office gives him a look. He keeps talking. I usually have a decent amount of patience. I have less patience for someone having a personal call while I'm waiting, to do him a favor, interrupting rounds to fill out a death certificate rather than deal with my live patients.

Two minutes pass.

"...girls, bar, drinking, bar, blah, blah, blah..."

Two more minutes pass.

"...club, drunk, bar, bar, blah, blah, blah..."

Two more minutes pass. He hangs up the phone. And is angry. At me.

"You know, I don't appreciate you standing there, listening to my phone call."


  1. I DO hope you smiled kindly, replied "I'll be back to fill the death certificate when I'm done with my living patients. Speaking from experience, I expect this will be around 7pm. Have a lovely day." and pranced back to the floor.

  2. I stumbled across your blog somehow, and I really enjoy your posts. I have no idea who you are, but I find you intriguing:)

  3. Sounds about like my experiences. http://goo.gl/5y8Of