Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Dino Laws Keep Coming

I gave my staff the week off between Christmas and New Years, but I'm still seeing patients. Darling spouse is answering the phone, taking messages and making appointments for me (getting pretty darned good at it too) but even so, I find myself subjected to a lot of the crap that my Wonderful Staff usually takes care of entirely behind my back.

I'm talking about "Referrals"; those dreaded things referred to by a former patient who went to Hollywood to write comedy as a "secret handshake to allow you to get medical care." My office policy is to require one week's notice for elective referrals. So of course the call comes, "We're in the dermatologist's office and my daughter needs a referral." Can they wait until next week? No, of course not; the daughter is home from college and going back next week. Even as I stumble through the referral maze (and get it done; I'm too good to my patients) I find myself muttering:
Poor planning on your part is not an emergency on my part.
Presto! Although I've been saying it for years, only at this instant do I think, "Dino Law!" While I'm at it, I realize that another thing I've been saying for years -- and have tried to immortalize on my blog footer, waaaaaaay down below -- is this:
A bad idea held by many people for a long time is still a bad idea.
It has now become the Twelfth Law of the Dinosaur (and has been removed from the footer.)


At Fri Dec 29, 11:33:00 AM, Blogger Dr. A said...

Well said! I also love (like this week while I'm here at work) when every fax that comes to this office says URGENT, or "delay in completion" of this insignificant piece of paper WILL result in YOUR patient delaying getting their medication or medical supplies or whatever. The paperwork and the bureaucracy really frustrates me sometimes.

At Fri Dec 29, 11:51:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blame the daughter--she knew she had zits all over her face when she was away. She probably came home and said, "Mother, save me!" (My daughter pulls this all the time. Supermom called Superdoc and you saved the day. She probably would have survived until her next break though and learned a lesson if you had stuck to your policy . . . lol.

You're such a softie! ;o)

At Sat Dec 30, 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

The laws are an impressive compilations of wisdom and experience (do they largely overlap?).

Regards - Shinga

At Mon Jan 01, 03:52:00 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Wisdom and experience - not the laws, I realise this was ambiguous.

Regards - Shinga

At Wed Jan 03, 02:15:00 PM, Blogger Irishdoc said...

As an ER doc let me tell you, everyone thinks everything is emergent. Now maybe it wasn't emergent when they came down with it four months ago, but it emergent NOW. EMTALA will be the death of us.


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