Thanks to the United States Preventive Services Task Force, the occasion of one's fiftieth birthday has come to include good-natured ribbing regarding one's newly acquired eligibility for colon cancer screening. I'm a doctor. I know this. I tell patients this all the time. So what did I do on the occasion of my fiftieth birthday?
I figured I would get around to scheduling one eventually. There was really no rush.
I had a regular day. I went to the office. I saw patients. I dealt with paperwork, including the mail. One item left on my desk was a short, stubby envelope from the local gastroenterology group. I opened it and removed an embossed card containing text in a font and format that looked like an invitation or announcement. I looked it over, expecting to see something like an announcement of a new associate. You know, something like,
"We are pleased to announce that Dr. Sigmoid Cecum has joined us in the practice of gastroenterology. Dr. Cecum has special expertise in the diagnosis and treatement of diseases of the sphincter of Oddi, and is now accepting appointments. We look forward to providing continued service to you and your patients."
It was an invitation to a special Saturday morning session for screening colonoscopies "for Physicians and Spouses Only," embossed card, fancy font and all.
That's right: I actually got an engraved invitation to schedule a colonoscopy on my fiftieth birthday.
What else could I do but schedule it? And for