Monday, August 8, 2022

Mary's desk

Mary: "Dr. Grumpy's office, this is Mary"

Ms. Cricetinae: "Hi, um, can Dr. Grumpy work me up for fur, I mean hair, loss, and weight changes?"

Mary: "No, you'll need to call your family doctor for that."

Ms. Cricetinae: "Well they won't see me for it."

Mary: "Well, I don't know what to tell you there, but Dr. Grumpy doesn't..."

Ms. Cricetinae: "Okay, the truth is that it's my hamster, Tulip. He's been losing weight, and fur, and I think he needs his thyroid checked and other stuff, but I don't want to pay for a vet. Can't Dr. Grumpy just draw the labs and bill them under my name to my insurance and say they were for me?"

Mary: "No, we can't do that. It's fraud. And Dr. Grumpy doesn't see hamsters, or know much about them."

Ms. Cricetinae: "But what about Tulip?

Mary: "Take him to the vet."

Ms. Cricetinae: "Thanks for being totally useless."


Monday, August 1, 2022

Saturday night, 8:24 p.m.

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

Mrs. Cartography: "Hi, I'm sorry to bother you on a weekend, but I'm on vacation and I guess I forget to bring my Fukitol pills."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay, do you have a pharmacy you want me to call it to? Where are you?"

Mrs. Cartography: "I'm in Hawaii, in... hang on. It says this is Lahaina. Do you know a pharmacy here?"

Dr. Grumpy: "No but let me..."

Mrs. Cartography: "My phone says there's a Dumpster Drug in Honolulu. Can you send it there?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes, are you going there soon?"

Mrs. Cartography: "It wasn't planned, but I can if I need to. We have a rental car."

Dr. Grumpy: "Honolulu is on another island. You're on Maui."

Mrs. Cartography: "I know Hawaii is an island. I'm not stupid."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's several islands, and Lahaina and Honolulu aren't on the same one. Let me look up a pharmacy in Lahaina for you, hang on..."

Mrs. Cartography: "Well, I'd rather go to Dumpster Drugs, because I use them back home. Why don't you just call it in and we'll drive there tomorrow?"

Dr. Grumpy: "You can't drive from Lahaina to Honolulu."

Mrs. Cartography: "I'm sure you can, there must be bridge or something. I mean, that's what I do when I'm going to Brooklyn."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's not quite the same. Let me..."

Mrs. Cartography: "Oh, never mind. My husband found the Fukitol bottle in my purse. Have a good weekend, doctor."

Monday, July 25, 2022


Going through some old emails over the weekend, I found this one to my office staff. I wrote it roughly 10 years ago, during a family trip to Disneyland.

While waiting to get in this morning we passed a lady yelling at a park employee outside a ticket booth. She was quite upset that the "special Disneyland admissions" she'd bought for a few $100 bills wasn't going to get her into the park. Or anywhere.

Lady: "I demand you honor these tickets! They say they're official tickets, and I paid good money for them."

Employee: "Ma'am, I'm sorry, but these aren't tickets. Did you get them at your hotel desk?"

Lady: "NO! The desk was ridiculously expensive. These were much cheaper. I got them from a man selling them at the bus stop in front of my hotel."

Employee: "I think you've been scammed. I can call the police if you wish. He wasn't a Disney employee, and these aren't real tickets."

Lady: "Of course they're real! They have a picture of Mickey Mouse on them."

Employee: "Yes, but that doesn't make them real tickets. In fact, that's a decal of Mickey stuck to them. It looks like they were made on a home computer."

Lady: "Well, he SAID he was an authorized Disney ticket sales person, and was wearing a hat with Goofy on it. Why would he lie about that?"

Monday, July 18, 2022

Beware of the dragon

 Seen in a chart:

Monday, July 11, 2022

Wait, what?

Pissy and I are talking to a drug rep.

"So, doctors, this nasal spray contains batsonshazam, that can be used emergently to stop a seizure, or attack of seizures. It comes 2 units in a box, which is convenient, as it allows patients to keep one at home and one at work, or one in the car, so they can even use it if they have a seizure and lose consciousness while driving."

Monday, June 27, 2022


So today, me, and pretty much every doctor, veterinarian, nurse practitioner, and pharmacist in the country got this email:

Apparently the folks at the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) decided that people reading the rules about guidance didn't have enough guidance, and so needed some guidance. Or they just made a bet over the weekend on who could use the word "guidance" in an email the most:

Isn't that impressive? Okay, so what does the guidance in this remarkable document on guidance say? I'm glad you asked!

Here's page 1 (page 2 is more of the same, so I'm not going to bother with it).



For those of you who went to college in the same era that I did, I keep thinking of the word "guidance" now in the same way I used to think of the phrase, "Hi, Bob."


Monday, June 20, 2022

You're in luck

I take my 11:30 patient back to my office.

Dr. Grumpy: "Hi, Don, have a seat. How are you doing?"

Mr. Epazil: "Sorry if I'm in a rush, doc."

Dr. Grumpy: "Everything okay?"

Mr. Epazil: "Yeah, but I  have an appointment with Dr. Grumpy at 11:30. I think he's also in this building, but I can't remember where."

Monday, June 13, 2022

Pissy. Must. Die.

Me, Dr. Pissy, and our combined office staffs are having lunch with a drug rep.


Ms. Pharma: “That covers all the new info about Nomoshakin, so next time either of you sees a patient with refractory seizures, please keep Nomoshakin in mind. Any questions?” 

Dr. Grumpy: “No, thank you.” 

Ms: Rep: “Okay. Looks like we still have a few minutes, so let me tell you about Gramzap. This is our new, highly potent, highly absorbed, once-daily oral antibiotic. It has excellent coverage against many commonly encountered infections and…” 

Dr. Pissy: “Do you have samples?” 

Ms. Pharma: “Of course! Let me…” 

Dr. Pissy: “Please leave them for Dr. Grumpy. Gramzap sounds better than the weekly shots he gets at the free clinic."

Monday, May 30, 2022

Quote of the day

"I was in the ER last weekend for a seizure. They said my Kepdepatrol level was 4. Or maybe it was 8, actually, it could have been 14, or maybe 28. Whatever it was, it had either a 4 or an 8 in it, I'm not sure which. Does that help?"

Monday, May 23, 2022

Things seen in charts

 Here's this one, showing the hazards of cut & paste:


Next we have this bit of bullshit, which was, sadly, the entirety of the chart note and which told me nothing:


Apparently someone is hoping there's a CPT billing code for "vice versa:"

Next is another piece of crap someone pasted in. I'm willing to bet that the physician involved pastes this in at the end of pretty much every single note they write.

And, lastly:

Translation: just because I'm billing your insurance for treating a disease, doesn't mean you have that disease.

Monday, May 16, 2022

There are 11,000 neurologists in the U.S.

And a few weekends ago, due to a computer glitch, every one of them had an inbox that looked like this:

Monday, May 9, 2022

Voicemail theater

Message left at  6:55 a.m.

"Hi, thith ith Mike Thmith. I haf to canthel my appointment wif Dr. Grumpy for thith morning. I wath in a barfight lath night and loth thome teeth and have an emergenthy dental appointment. Thorry."

Message left at 7:00 a.m.

"Good morning, this is Dr. Perry O'Dontis. I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to cancel and reschedule my appointment with Dr. Grumpy for this morning. My partner is out of town, and one of his patients got into a barfight last night and had his teeth knocked out, so I need to work him in this morning."

Monday, May 2, 2022

Weekend on call

I've been called down to ER to see a fellow who suffered a stroke while at the local casino. His wife has just arrived.

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm glad you're here... his face is kind of drooping on this side. Is that normal for him?"

Mrs. Alteplase: "Let me see... He always has that."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay. Do you know what medications he's on?"

Mrs. Alteplase: "No, but check his wallet. He always has that."

Dr. Grumpy: "Okay" (I start searching through the guy's pockets). "You know where he keeps it?"

Mrs. Alteplase: "No, but he always has that."

As I find and pull out the wallet a handgun - with the safety off - falls out of another pocket and lands on the floor with a loud THUNK. Me and 2 nurses freeze for a second, afraid it might go off.

Mrs. Alteplase: "He always has that."

Monday, April 25, 2022

Bathroom humor

A reader sent in this picture, where apparently an "out of order" sign just wasn't enough:


Of course, art imitates life, and vice versa:

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