Now, normally I don't care how much other docs are getting. I try not to pay attention to those things, as it's none of my business. But, due to a recent news story, I decided to look up the stats on another doctor.
The doctor in question is an interventional cardiologist, practicing in the northeast. His father is also a cardiologist, and they work together. Sounds nice huh? A family-run medical group.
Anyway, per the 2012 Medicare data, that year Uncle Sam paid this gentleman $313,375.23. DISCLOSURE: I suck at math. Really. So this number could be completely wrong since I had trouble making sense of which column was which, and then I had to multiply across, then add.
Now, like I previously pointed out this is gross, not net. Like all of us out there, I'm sure the good doctor has insane office overhead to cover. This guy is in a field, unlike mine, where you truly are saving lives, and you can't put a price on that. And I'm also not in the business of telling other people how to spend their money. After all, I blow most of my immense fortune on a Diet Coke habit.
So what does this successful cardiologist spend it on? Well, he supports local businesses by spending $135,000 at a strip bar.
I am not making this up.
|"I need it all in singles. Don't ask why."|
Granted, this wasn't all at once. It took him 4 visits over 10 days last November at Scores Gentlemans Club to reach that amount, averaging $33,750 per visit. It was a cold winter, and I think we all needed to warm up (at the Grumpy household we cranked the heater up and got out extra blankets). Perhaps it was national "Support your local strip bar week" (if it was, I missed the memo).
I haven't been to a strip bar since a bachelor party in residency, but don't think I could spend that much on drinks, tips, and lap dances if I tried (although I haven't tried, either). Maybe I wasn't going to the right bars.
But it gets better. The good doctor (Zyad Younan, M.D.) put the charges on he & his dad's business credit card. Can you imagine how proud the elder doctor Younan felt when the AMEX statement came in? "EKG supplies, ultrasound gel... $135,000 at The Boob Palace? ZYAD!!!"
Regrettably, daddy's reaction to his prodigy's spending habits hasn't been in the news. He probably grounded him and took away the car. These things don't look very good on IRS audits.
I'm really not sure how Dr. Younan, Jr. was planning to claim this as a business expense. Granted, he's a heart doctor, and the heart is located in the chest, and I'm sure there are a lot of chests displayed at Scores. Perhaps it was a research project he was working on ("I want to put my stent in your vessel"). He could also have been recruiting a new partner, though not necessarily for the practice.
|"You say it's a study to repeatedly check my femoral artery pulse?"|
So, to recap thus far: a successful cardiologist blew $135,000 in 4 visits at a strip bar, using his business AMEX.
But wait, that's not all!
As anyone who owns a credit card knows, sooner or later the card company wants to get paid (they're funny like that) and sent a bill to Dr. Younan. Like any honest, law-abiding, boob-ogling, dad-fearing cardiologist, he should pay it, right? And, if he had, none of this would even have made the newspapers.
But he didn't.
Instead, he claimed that he didn't have to pay because he was drugged. EACH TIME (I assume he means something beyond alcohol) and therefore has no recollection of being there.
Now, this, in my opinion, is pretty far-fetched. Okay, maybe once is semi-believable. I mean, stranger things have happened. One minute you're walking out to the doctor's lot, the next you're waking up and finding out you spent a fortune at a strip club. Maybe it was aliens. Or terrorists. Or your ex.
BUT 4 TIMES? I mean, that's one seriously good drugging job. If I'd blown that kind of money in a strip bar, I'd at least like to remember what I got for it. But not this unfortunate fellow. Whatever they used to drug him must have been pretty strong to make him not only forget, but to return to the same place 3 more times. Holy déjà vu, Batman!
|"It's February 2nd, and I've been drugged by a stripper. Again."|
The good doctor's refusal to pay is so steadfast that Scores has filed suit against him for the amount. They claim to have video of him in their fine establishment, acting, I assume, somewhat coherently. To date I haven't seen it listed on Youtube.
So, in summary:
1. No matter what Medicare actually pays your doctor, IT'S NOT WHAT THEY'RE TAKING HOME. The overhead for a medical practice is higher than you think. Probably much higher.
2. Don't let that hair-netted lady who puts out the bagels in the doctors lounge slip something into your coffee. You never know where you'll end up, sometimes repeatedly.
3. If you want to go to a strip bar, more power to you. But trying to charge it to your dad's business AMEX card may not be a good idea.
4. What you do with your hard-earned money is up to you, but remember to pay the bill. Because if you do, they won't sue you to get their money, and this sort of thing won't end up in the news.
5. $135,000 is a helluva lot of money to blow at a strip bar. I think my record was $50 for my share of the bachelor party.