Monday, March 22, 2010

Sunday night, 7:45 p.m.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy, returning a page."

Mr. Phone: "Yeah, I see you for epilepsy, and I take Tegretol. Anyway, I'm in Outofstate City, and I left all my pills back in Grumpytown."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, how long has it been since your last dose?"

Mr. Phone: "Um... I've been here since last Sunday, so I guess it's been a week."

Dr. Grumpy: "A WEEK?!!! Have you had any seizures?"

Mr. Phone: "No."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, is there a pharmacy I can call some Tegretol into for you?"

Mr. Phone: "No, I don't know any here. I'm at the airport, at the gate, so I really can't leave, either."

Dr. Grumpy: "Where are you heading now?"

Mr. Phone: "I'm flying back to Grumpytown tonight. My flight leaves in about 40 minutes."

(long pause)

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay. Let me get this straight. You've been without Tegretol for a week. In Outofstate City. And you didn't call me until now, 3 hours before you get back to your home pill supply. And you did this knowing that there is really no way for me to easily call in a refill for you."

Mr. Phone: "Er, yeah, that's about it. There was a magazine lying here, and to kill time I began reading it, and there was an article about how important it was to take your medications as prescribed."

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Call Sucks..weren't you sick last time you were on call! Call might be making you sick?

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I wasn't on call last night for the group, but am ALWAYS on call for my own practice.

Chrysalis Angel said...

I'd have to think of another way I'd handle these things besides pulling out my locks. I'd be bald again in no time in your world.

Hope your kicking that bug of yours.

Old MD Girl said...

*Sigh!*

Well, at least those articles helped SOMEBODY. Even if it was a bit after the fact.

Anonymous said...

Did you give him absolution after he confessed?

Anonymous said...

OMG, what a huge fail on so many levels. First of all, I'm sure that when Dr. Grumpy prescribed the medication he stressed the importance of taking it and if not it was implied. Then there's the fact that the guy wasted Dr. Grumpy's time (when he was sick no less) with a stupid and totally unnecessary phone call. How does this guy function day to day? He will be lucky if he even managed to board the correct flight. Instead of going to Grumpytown airport he probably ended up at the Dumpytown airport.

Celeste said...

Tell me how come he'll pay more attention to a random magazine article than to a highly educated doctor who gives him personalized care?

Maybe you need to festoon your patients with those annoying little subscription cards, Grumpy.

WarmSocks said...

lq2m

Anonymous said...

Grumpy, what is your office policy regarding refills? In my opinion, no REFILL is EVER an urgent or emergent situation. Does your voicemail say something to the effect of "refill requests will be handled during office hours. Please contact your pharmacy so they can fax us your prescription information?" As a pharmacist, I have people contact me all the time wanting me to page their doctor for something that's entirely the pt's fault (ie, ran out of medication and forgot to call it in on time). Generally, we loan up to 3 days worth on routine refills, and I tell the pt to check with us the next day as a fax has been sent to your physician. (If they keep this charade up, I put them on "automatic refill" which fills the rx 3 days early or contacts prescriber if out of refills). IMO, being on call is because of emergencies.....Mr Smith had a massive stroke and can't move his right arm, etc, etc, etc. NOT "I'm out of Tegretol."

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I have no set policy, but given the potential dangers of them missing a medication, would rather have my seizure patients call me on a weekend for refills if needed.

It beats having an ER doc call me because my patient seized and drove into oncoming traffic.

Silliyak said...

Mr Phone meet Mr Natural Selection.

Katie said...

Look at the bright side: at least the article was effective... Congratulations to that writer. :-)

<>< Katie

Frantic Pharmacist said...

Every time I shake my head at how many calls like this are taken at pharmacies, I realize it must be 10 times worse for the physicians' offices. Why don't people take ANY responsibility???

thegooddrlaura said...

I need to vent in a place my friends won't see. Jack and Jill are acquaintances of mine. Jack had "a stroke in his eye" and is in danger of losing his eyesight. They have no insurance. They've already paid A LOT of money out of pocket to some doctor somewhere and the emergency room. Now he needs a blood test so they went to LabCorp and it will cost $1000 for the blood test. I work for a federally qualified community health center that caters to medicaid and uninsured patients. I've been telling them for weeks to COME IN, i.e. WALK IN - PHYSICALLY to my clinic and I'll get them set up on a sliding fee program. But they keep calling the health center operators, who are clueless, and they keep calling me desperately for help. But they won't do the ONE thing I ask them to - which is to COME IN TO THE CLINIC so I can personally walk them over to the eligibility office and TELL someone to take care of them. It also thrills me when they say they have something else to do that day. Yup.

I hate it when people don't do what I tell them to do.

Thanks for listening. It doesn't even matter if you post this. It just felt good to type it out.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back!! Hope you're feeling better and didn't have a bucket between your knees when you took this call!
Its great your patients feel they can call you = not the ones who don't want to bother you and have bigger episodes... nice rapport doc.

Kat's Kats said...

::sigh:: I think you got his name wrong. It's probably Mr. Brainloss rather than Mr. Phone. No, really. If I'm visiting somewhere for a week and forget a prescription med the first thing I do is either hit pharmacy where I get my meds for an emergency amount on the first day that I'm there.. If there isn't a pharmacy in that town I page my doctor to have it called in to a different pharmacy that is in that town. Duh.

Anonymous said...

Dr G., reading your blog and the comments by other medical people, will hopefully make me a better patient.

Susan said...

What. A. Fu*king. Idiot.

Kate said...

OY.

donna said...

That really bites weenies! You are sick and have to deal with this?????

I am surprised they got past the
watch dog.....Mrs. Grumpy!! You
really have some odd birds at your
practice!!

NV: bootiers

terri c said...

Did you refer Mr. Phone to ERP?

Moose said...

Oh gods, "grumpytown" is an earworm. WON'T YOU TAKE ME TO -- GRUMPYTOWN!!!

There, now it's stuck in YOUR head, too.

Today's Captcha word is: TRIDEST. Six out of Five dyslexic doctors eat TRIDEST. With fries on top.

(now I'm *really* going to hell)

Cthulhu Sashimi said...

If only more people would heed the timeless wisdom of Goofus and Gallant...

Anonymous said...

"Once I saw that Miss April listed 'people who don't take their meds' as a turn-off, I had an epiphany."

shojin said...

Mooooose, stop it! Now I have the earworm.

Anonymous said...

Maybe he had a seizure that zapped ALL his common sense?

Anonymous said...

Tridest "tried this", Goofus, and Miss April in the same blog. Haha

Marie said...

You need to find out what magazine that was, then get several copies for your waiting area--or order reprints of that particular article to hand out to every patient!

Not taking epilepsy medication for a week?! Mr. Phone is a damn fool.

 
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