* * Anonymous Doc: What's that patient's name again? The one whose privacy I'm about to violate.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What's that patient's name again? The one whose privacy I'm about to violate.

We're in a patient's room.  All of us-- attending, fellow, intern, nurse, social worker, about 8 of us, with the patient, his wife, his kids--

Attending: "Yeah, so, we have a whole treatment plan set up.  Your situation is actually very similar to the guy down the hall-- what's his name?"

[no response]

Attending: "[Intern], what's that guy's name?  The one with the same cancer-- 65, short, bald, what's his name?"

Intern: "Uh, I'm not sure...?"

Attending: "Oh, come on, you know.  He has the wife, with the neurological thing..."

Social Worker: "I'm not sure we should be talking about the other patients..."

Attending: "No, just tell me his name.  Now it's going to drive me nuts."

Nurse: "Wouldn't it be a violation of HIPAA?"

Attending: "Come on, HIPAA doesn't apply to things like this.  What's the patient's name?  With the chemotherapy that didn't work.  Who we're trying to give a few more months to.  He was a dentist, his son is a travel agent-- what is his name?"

Fellow: "I think maybe we should move on."

Attending: "Fine, well, anyway, my college roommate Bob Schlabotnick had what you have, and he's fine now-- under my care-- so I'm hopeful we'll get you there too.  He also has herpes, can you believe that?  Someone my age."

Fellow: "Okay, let's move along."

Attending: "Dave.  Dave Ramirez.  That's his name.  Originally from Detroit.  He's in room 2604, you can compare notes.  Feeling a lot of the same things you are, a lot of the same emotions."

Nurse: "I'm gonna go check on something else."

Attending: "See if you can find Ramirez's file on your way out.  I had it in my hand, but I don't know what I did with it.  Must have left it in another patient's room.  See if you can grab it.  Thanks."


  1. my first response is: this is a trap,anyone who try to be helpful and tells him the patient's name is gonna be in trouble, i am glad none of you guys did that...haha~

    but later i realized it was just a big mouth attending who doesn't care about patient's privacy...

    lucky Mr. Dave Ramirez, finally your attending remembered his name, otherwise we will know his home address, phone number and checking account number...lol~

  2. Awful and hilarious :D

  3. I posted about your blog on Studentdoctornetwork.

    everyone seems to love it.

    I've been "with you" since the first day that you posted. I can't believe these 3 years flew by so quickly! I really hope you continue blogging during your fellowship.

  4. I can't believe I only just discovered this blog! I love this... I hope you continue it after graduating residency!

    P.S. I am really into flowcharts too. Here's one of mine:


  5. @Fizzy -- I honestly don't know how you didn't discover this blog before. It's awesome.

    Dr. Anon -- Please tell me you're going to keep blogging through fellowship?

  6. Replies
    1. Fizzy: Dr. Anon has been on my sidebar for months. But it's ok, I'm a med student, so I'm used to accepting blame. :P