Tuesday, April 13, 2004

One of the earliest posts on this blog was a collection of annoying habits that patients engage in that drive me nuts. I've been on call 3 of the past 5 days and physicians did more during those days to get under my skin than anything that the patient's did. Time for some bile venting.....

Referral Madness: If you want to send all of your consults to a certain surgeon or group of surgeons, be my guest. As a primary care physician that is your right. What is not fair is to send your insured patients to one group and then try to pass off your uninsured patients to other surgeons. Don't be surprised when your surgical consultant doesn't buy your lame B.S. excuse as to why your usual surgeon is not available. Also don't be surprised if your surgeon politely declines your consult.

Daytime Friends: Even if your patient has coverage, a wide variety of illnesses and beeper difficulties can befall your usual surgeon after The Tonight Show starts. This is really dirty pool since it then falls to the unassigned surgeon since often this patient is in the ED.

Don't Call us, We'll Call You: I am the first to admit that I often drop the ball on this one. If you have a consult, please call your consultant, and your consultant should call you in return. Doing so is a must if your consult is STAT. Don't expect me to get out of bed and come in and see your patient while you stay in bed without the benefit of a phone call.

Speaking of Staying in Bed: Patient comes to ED with problem in the dead of night. ED physician sees patient and calls primary care physician. Primary care physician admits patient over the telephone. Primary care physician orders STAT surgery consult without seeing patient. Primary care physician goes back to sleep. Surgeon fumes. (As a resident I would take the passive-aggressive route and call a referral physician who did that as labs, x-rays, and other tests come in. Great fun)

I know I'm sounding petty but unfortunately the above situations occur almost weekly. In the interest of fairness I invite my fellow medbloggers and readers to opine on the shortcomings of the surgeons in their lives.

Come on, I know you want to....

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