* * Anonymous Doc: Tell My Son. No, My Other Son. No, My Other Son.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Tell My Son. No, My Other Son. No, My Other Son.

"So, unfortunately the test results were as we expected, and you're going to need to see a specialist and figure out the best treatment."

"Would you mind giving my son a call and letting him know?  He's much savvier about this stuff than I am."

"Sure, but I think I spoke to your son the other day when he came to your last appointment, right?"

"No, that's my other son.  It would be great if you could give him a call, too, with the update."

"Okay, so I'll call that son, and I'll also call your other son."

"And my daughter."

"Can one of your sons update your daughter?"

"Well, one son isn't speaking to that daughter. And then I have another daughter who no one is speaking to, but it would be great if you could update her as well."

"I'm happy to talk to your family, but maybe if we could do it all on one conference call, or a family meeting if they're able to come in, or if one of them can be the point person -- it's just hard for me to take the time to call three or four different people with the same news.  I have a lot of patients."

"I was actually also going to ask you to call my brother.  He works in a pharmacy, so he's familiar with a lot of the medical terms."

"Like I said, it would be really great if I could call one person, and then they could tell everyone else the update.  If there's one child or sibling who can be the go-to person that I know to call, that would be the easiest thing."

"Right, except Janet isn't talking to Stu, and Stu isn't talking to Carol, and, really, they're only going to trust what they hear if it comes directly from the doctor. Oh, you need to call my boss, too, so I don't get penalized for taking today off for the appointment."

"I can definitely give you a note."

"No, he's going to think I forged the note, because of something in the past.  It would be much better if you called.  Also I need some refills that I was hoping you could call into the pharmacy."

"Do you have the list of prescriptions you need refills on?"

"I actually left that list with my cardiologist -- he said you could give his office a call and they would let you know."

"He couldn't refill them for you?"

"He said he'd rather leave it to the internist.  I also have an insurance issue -- they said the doctor can call and explain why I needed the scan in March, otherwise they weren't going to cover it."

"Okay, I can call the insurance company...."

"And if you could let my sister know after you've done that -- she's been handling a lot of my paperwork.  That would be great."

"I think I need a list of all of these names and numbers."

"My niece has all of that information.  I can't remember phone numbers anymore, but she said you can give her a call and she'll give you all of those details.  I don't want her knowing the medical stuff, though.  She's just dealing with the phone numbers.  And if you could minimize the test results when you talk to Janet, she's very squeamish with this stuff."

"Like I keep saying, one point person would be great."

"Oh, I almost forgot.  My brother had me take a picture of this mole he's got.  It's on my phone, he asked if I could show you."

"I really can't--"

"I don't need to know what it is, but I told him I'd have you give him a call--"

"I'm not--"

"Oh, also, my step-daughter, Sylvia -- her first language is Spanish.  So if there's some way you could get an interpreter on the phone when you call her.  Different father, she grew up in Mexico--"

"I don't think I can get--"

"Yeah, so I'll have the specialist call you once the results are in, and then you'll update my family?"

"He can--"

"Okay, great, thanks.  I really appreciate it."


  1. Wow, I could never do your job and keep it. I would be fired. I have absolutely no patience for this kind of idiocy. Why are you so polite? Can't you just tell them you are willing to make one phone call and that is it?

    I sure hope you didn't accommodate her.

  2. since she didn't give you any phone numbers, I'm going to go with the explanation that putting this story on the internet suffices.

    Good luck!!