"You're Dr. [me], right?"
"I'm Judy, from the development office."
"You never responded to my e-mail."
"I sent an e-mail last month asking about some of your patients? I just thought I'd follow up in person."
"I'm sorry -- I don't remember --"
"An e-mail asking if any of your patients might be good candidates to give a gift to the hospital? You know, based on your understanding of their circumstances?"
"Oh, yes, now I remember."
[The e-mail went something like this:
We are in the process of reviewing some patient records to see who might be worth reaching out to in order to inquire about a potential gift to the hospital. Please advise as to any knowledge you may have about each patient's financial circumstances or any lapses in care that may make them unfavorably inclined to respond to a call from us:
Family of Peterson (was his death preventable by us?)
Family of Turner (do they blame us for his fall in the hospital?)
Wilson (there are two of this name in the system-- is yours the one who lives in [fancy suburb]?
Thank you for your help. Any details we can use in our calls would be appreciated. If you have any other patients, living or deceased, you think would be amenable or have amenable families, please advise. Also let us know any potential issues you can foresee, or situations that we may need to address before they are willing to donate.
"Sorry, I just wasn't comfortable discussing my patients like that."
"Oh, don't worry. We only use the information for fundraising."
"No, I understand that. Sorry."
"This is a really important initiative. Can I resend the e-mail?"
"Great. Thanks for your help."
"Is there a bonus program? Like, do I get a percentage of any money you raise from my patients?"
"No! That would be unseemly."