* * Anonymous Doc: When your doctor tells you he's retiring... is he just trying to let you down easy?

Thursday, January 31, 2013

When your doctor tells you he's retiring... is he just trying to let you down easy?

New patient, a bunch of issues, hoping she might have some past records to check out, get a better sense of her history and any old scans or lab results...

"Sure, my former doctor probably has all of that, but he retired.  That's why I came here.  I needed to find a new doctor.  Oh, he was great.  I really liked him.  It's too bad he left the practice."

"Do you know if someone else was taking over for him?"

"I don't think so.  He said the office was closing.  I can give you the number, but I'm not sure he's still there."


So I call the number, and start to explain what I'm looking for.  The nurse interrupts--

"Oh, Dr. Jones?  No, he hasn't retired.  He's in the office-- hold on a second, let me put him on."


"Hi, this is Dr. Jones...."

"Yes, I'm a fellow at Mediocre Hospital.  I have a patient in clinic who says she saw you for many years, but she had to find a new doctor because you were retiring....  I was hoping to get some records if you had them...."

"Oh, yes, Mrs. Terrible, right?"


"Yeah, I have her records.  I can have my secretary fax them over.  She's really something."

"Well, I just met her today.  I'm just trying to get a handle on her history."

"Yeah, you'll see.  I'll definitely have those records sent over."

"And so you're not retired?"

"[laughs] No, no, not at all.  Retired from seeing her, for sure.  But most of my patients I can still handle."

"Uh, okay... great... can I give you a call if I have any questions?"

"I guess.  Good luck."


  1. That was hilarious. Wrong. But hilarious.

  2. And this is why doctors have such a bad reputation. What an ass!

  3. ^^ Why is the doctor necessarily the bad one? Maybe the patient is Mrs. Terrible.

  4. Yes... This is accurate.

  5. Please follow up on this one! It reminds me of the Seinfeld episode in which Elaine was a "difficult patient" and having a hard time finding a doctor becuase they all made that notation in her chart. I think she finally ended up at a veterinarian.