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.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Why I Love My Staff

The phone rings:

My Wonderful Staffer: Good morning, Dr. Dino's office. How can I help you?"

Deceptive Patient: Is the doctor there?

MWS: Can I help you with something?

Note: It took awhile, but I finally taught a good Catholic the Jewish trick of answering a question with another question.

DP: Well, my leg has been hurting for a while now, and I've been seeing another doctor for it. He ordered an MRI, so I need Dr. Dino to write me a note for it.

MWS: If the other doctor ordered it then he's the one who needs to write you the note [left unspoken: "and get the damnable pre-authorization too!"]

DP: [hemming and hawing] Actually, the doctor isn't ordering it. Some of my friends told me that's what I need for my leg.

MWS: I'm sorry, but Dr. Dino won't write a note for a test without seeing you first to evaluate the problem.

No appointment scheduled, but no note written either.



At Sat Apr 04, 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Resident Anesthesiologist Guy (RAG) said...

Wow. Talk about something to fire a pt over! I know you won't, but that's clearly crossing the line in your P-P relationship.

At Sat Apr 04, 11:11:00 PM, Anonymous James Wilk M.D. said...

Oh, you shouldn't fire a patient over stuff like this--they all do it and you can't fire your entire practice!

But there's a common belief that being a stockbroker with internet access is the same as being a doctor. That's what's going on here.

At Sun Apr 05, 05:12:00 PM, Anonymous mamadoc said...

Jiminy, I hate it when people do this. I think you should give MWS a bonus for figuring this out BEFORE this went any further. She's a great asset to your practice.

At Mon Apr 06, 08:32:00 AM, Blogger Dr. RB said...

You bet you should give this staff member a bonus. She probably saved the health care system $500-1000 from an unnecessary MRI. If the problem is significant enough for this test then it's worth spending the $100 and the time to have the physician do their job and evaluate the problem first. Besides, no one else is in the business of giving away medical care why should the primary care physician.

At Mon Apr 06, 03:44:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is always caught by my veteran staff. Only new patients try this trick, and they are quickly trained. An important part of primary care is teaching patients how to behave; once done, life is SO much more pleasant.


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