* * Anonymous Doc: "Your office broke my wheelchair!"

Thursday, December 6, 2012

"Your office broke my wheelchair!"

I get a phone call--

"Yes, my husband had an appointment in the clinic earlier this week, and you were his doctor..."

"Sure, is everything okay?"

"No, everything is not okay.  Your office broke my husband's wheelchair."

"I'm sorry, what happened?"

"Your office broke his wheelchair.  You owe him a new wheelchair and I was wondering where I can send the bill."

"Uh, I'm not sure I'm the right person for you to talk to.  I can give you the main number and you can ask for, uh, the clinic manager, I suppose."

"No, I'm not going to talk to a secretary who has no power to do anything.  I know how things work.  Only the doctors have any power."

"I'm sorry-- I really don't have power.  I'm just a fellow, and I'm only at the clinic one day a week.  I have nothing to do with billing or reimbursement or anything like that."

"That's what you all say, but I know how it really works."

"I really have to get back to my patients.  You should call the main number and talk to the office manager."

"Do not hang up on me.  You were his doctor.  This is your fault."

"I'm sorry you feel that way.  But I can really only deal with medical issues.  You need to call--"

"You're not even going to ask what happened with the wheelchair?"

"I really can't--"

"We were leaving your office, and as we were folding the wheelchair up to get into the taxi cab, the leg support completely broke off, and now we can't even use it."


"Doctor, are you still there?"

"Yes.  I can still only tell you to call the office manager, but from what you're saying, it sounds like it wasn't anything that happened in the clinic itself, but what happened with the taxi cab."

"My husband would not have been getting into that taxi if not for his appointment with YOUR OFFICE."

"I suppose that is true."


"I'm going to need you to call the office manager.  But here's what you can do.  Tell her that if she has any questions about what happened, she can ask me, and I can tell her exactly what you just told me."

"Okay, thank you, doctor."

"You're welcome.  Have a good day."


  1. you are always so polite and competent!
    I wonder where all that anger springs out? Or you just absorb it?

  2. You are so nice! I would've said:
    "Well, if your husband wasn't ill, I wouldn't have had to see him to ensure he lives as long as possible. That makes it his fault. You can collect from him."
    Some patients are just a pain in the ass.

  3. Your poor office manager! Hopefully you will give her a heads-up about this incoming call...unless of course you don't like her. :)

  4. I have heard all sorts of things that people do and, even so, I continue to be shocked at the moxie people have. About 10 years ago, a neighbor's cat kept coming into my fenced backyard. Yeah, I know cats do that but I had rabbits back there and I had a section that was fenced off just for them to run around. Anyway, I asked the neighbor if he could keep his cat out of my yard as I was afraid the cat would try and kill one of the rabbits. His cat continued to come into my yard and I didn't really do anything as I did not want to cause any hostility with a neighbor. The only thing I did was spray the cat with the hose if I saw him back there as a means of trying to discourage him from going back there.

    Anyway, one morning I went out there and his cat was pretty much gutted, well the stomach was ripped open. Not only was it a horrifying sight, I felt so bad for that cat and what he went through. I did not know what happened until I saw one of my rabbits with bloody back feet. I didn't know rabbits could do that.

    What really floored me was my neighbor had the moxie to sue me in small claims' court. I thought "just wow, oh wow." Needless to say, he lost but I still had to go through the trouble of showing up.

  5. Hi, of course this post is genuinely fastidious and I have learned lot of things from it about blogging. thanks.
    Disabled access