Thursday, January 22, 2015


Mary interrupts me while I'm with a patient. Never a good thing.

Mary: "There's a doctor on the phone, says he needs to talk to you right now."

She hands me a piece of paper. I pick up the phone. It's a guy I've never heard of.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Dr. Interruptus: "Hi, this is Cody Interruptus, I work over at the Local Hospital clinic, and I've got a guy here... 27 years old... anyway, he has Flehner-Lathrop Syndrome, and I think he needs to see a neurologist soon, if you could work him in."

Dr. Grumpy: "That's pretty uncommon, and I've never seen a case. Have you called Ivory Tower Neurology? They have a lady who specializes in it."

Dr. Interruptus: "No. I mean, I'm part of the Local Hospital clinic, and would like to keep the patient here, seeing other docs who work out of Local Hospital. In this day and age we all need to work together and support each other in the community. I'd appreciate it if you could help me out. I mean, you can refer him to Ivory Tower afterwards if you need to."

Dr. Grumpy (feeling guilty): Okay... I'll work him in over lunch tomorrow."

Dr. Interruptus: "Thank you."

Dr. Grumpy: "Let me get his info... Looks like Mary wrote most of it down... What insurance does he have?"

Dr. Interruptus: "Sickness & Wealth HMO."

Dr. Grumpy: "Oh... I'm sorry, I'm not contracted with S&W. I never have been. Two of my call partners, Drs. Brain & Nerve, are, let me give you their number..."

Dr. Interruptus: "But this is LOCAL HOSPITAL. Those two work out of OTHER HOSPITAL. You need to help support us and the Local Hospital community. Can't you just see him for free?"

Dr. Grumpy: "He has insurance. This is not a charity issue. I do plenty of charity work for the uninsured. I'm not going to see him for free when there are plenty of docs who take his insurance around."

Dr. Interruptus: "You should be loyal to the hospital. That should be your first priority."

Dr. Grumpy: "I..."

Dr. Interruptus: "Thanks for nothing."



Anonymous said...


Dr. Interuptus is owned, lock, stock, and cajones by Local Hospital, and if he dares to refer any patient to the cross-town competition, he gets a major ding. He wants you to work for free to spare him from the wrath of his administrator-dominatrixes.

bunkywise said...

Gee, doctors can be dicks. With the exception of you, Dear Dr. Grumpy. That goes without saying.

Anonymous said...

I would have agreed to see the patient if Dr. Interruptus agreed to be financially responsible (personally) for his treatment.

Holly said...

Manipulative. dickhead. All to save his ass from what? Loss of profit? An ass chewing from his boss?

Seems like $$$ is the bottom dollar for some docs. Glad to see his patients well-being is his priority.

Packer said...

Take a message, find out what it is about and I will call him back later.

Rude a mentory staff training, free of charge.

Anonymous said...

Raise your hand if you googled the syndrome.

*raises hand*

Bravo Dr. G. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

welcome to the new world
of corporate medicine.
this is the new model.
take a chair...

Candida Gomez said...

(Googles syndrome)

Uh-huh. The source about five or six down the page of results is particularly interesting, in a culinary kind of way.

The doctor needs to get it through his head: If he doesn't do his best by the patient, the patient is not going to return, will talk about the crappy doctor at [Local Hospital], and might even leave some not-so-nice reviews online.

Taking a small hit now for bigger and better patient relations later is completely worth it, and that doctor and likely his bosses need to get that through their heads.

Anonymous said...

So Ted Danson has done really well to survive this Flehner Lathrop syndrome for more than 5 years since the time he was diagnosed. Was it April 1 2010 he was dx'd? Must have had the care and attention of a really good doc - such as Dr. interruptus. It's such a rare disease, that your blog is now on the first page of results.
When I think of the self-important docs that i work with, I yearn for someone with your sense of humour.

The Number Cruncher said...

I want to share that I got my information about what this syndrome is from The Onion, and not something silly like WebMD.,250/

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