Got a call from a long-time patient over the weekend. Hearing a not overly alarming story but one that was not terribly reassuring either, I suggested she go to the Emergency Department.
Later that morning, sitting at an internet cafe with DSS eating breakfast, each of us surfing on our respective laptops, he says conversationally, “So I see Miss LTP is in the ER.”
My heart stopped and my stomach dropped. Had he managed to access the voicemail program I use for after hours calls? My EMR? Had I left shortcuts up to any patient-related materials on that machine? When had I last used it anyway? My mind was racing. I wasn’t all that concerned specifically about him knowing that a particular person was in the ER, since he understands confidentiality. But if he was able to access confidential patient information, did that mean I had a security breach?
“How do you know that?” I asked him carefully, after a very long pause, during which all of the above ran through my head. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Dinosaur*
Someone suggested I was being mean or making fun of patients in my previous post. Those of you who read this blog regularly (aside from needing serious psychiatric evaluation) are aware that I am quite sympathetic of my patients’ position in this relationship. Mine is a position of power, while they are coming to me with an admission of weakness. There is no doubt that I would rather sit in the doctor’s chair than that of the patient – and that’s not just because my chair has wheels on it.
My intent in writing this blog is to show the doctor/patient interaction through the eyes of a physician – a perspective most people don’t get very often. Even though I have lots to be thankful for in my profession, I still have things that regularly annoy me. For me to voice that annoyance in a light manner is meant to both educate people of my perspective, and entertain those who share it.
Enough of that. Now it’s time to move on to the strategies we physicians use to get back at patients for their shenanigans. You may not realize it, but we have a special class in medical school dedicated solely to the ways to annoy and embarrass our patients. It’s an art, really. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at Musings of a Distractible Mind*