Thursday, January 20, 2011

Guessing games

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

Mr. Anon: "Is he in today?"

Mary: "Excuse me?"

Mr. Anon: "Is he seeing people today?"

Mary: "Yes, can I help you?"

Mr. Anon: "I want to come in today."

Mary: "I'm sorry, but who is this?"

Mr. Anon: "I'm one of his patients and I want to see him today."

Mary: "What's your name?"

Mr. Anon: "I just want to make an appointment. If you can give me a time, I'll tell you my name."

Mary: "I can't give you an appointment unless you tell me your name."

(long pause)

Mr. Anon: "I'll just call back tomorrow." (hangs up)


Anonymous said...

I thought you were a neurologist, so why do you have so many psychiatric patients?

Packer said...

It wasn't a patient, it was either a copy machine sales person or a bill collector. They are crafty, you have to watch out for them.

Tomorrow Grumpy will regale us with tales of how he bough two Xerox machines for the price of four.

Li'l Azathoth said...

Maybe he can't remember his name and that's why he needs to see the neurologist.

Anonymous said...

Ring, ring. Hi! I'd like a refill of my heart pill. The little white one. I'll be by when I get off work.

Mike said...

If it's a salesman trying to sneak a sales call in, go ahead and make an appt time. Just make sure you have an enema ready during the appt, and tell him it's a requirement :)

Grumpy, M.D. said...

He called back and ID'd himself an hour later. It was a patient. He even apologized to Mary, thought won't say why he did it.

Queen of the Road said...

Sometimes I think we've switched practices.

Anonymous said...

next time tell him that you will just consult your "magic 8 ball" to try and guess who it is. I've said it once, I'll say it again.... Some mental health professionals must have a vendetta against you. I think they are all sending the special people your way.

terri c said...

Enema is good but a nerve conduction test would be good as well for a sneaky sales rep.

OldSquid said...

@Mike reminds me of the SCRUBS espisode with Dr. Take Your Pants Off.

Anonymous said...

How about next time, you schedule the appointment and tell the patient you will have to perform a lumbar puncture to retrieve a DNA sample?

It might seem you get an over-abundance of strange people but just ask someone who works retail. These people are crawling all over the planet! ;-)

Happy Weekend, Dr. Grumpy

Kat's Kats said...

Bad med reaction? Terrible migraine? Dementia? Thorn in the foot??

The Mother said...

I've been fielding calls now for five weeks, and I'm shocked at the number of people who won't give their names.

And don't realize that I can see it on my caller id.

lovinmyjob said...

It sounds like the same kind of thing we get:
Patient-at-counter: I need to pick-up my medicine.....
Clerk: UHHH...what's your name?
PAC: It's for me.
Clerk: OK..what's your name?
PAC: I called it in yesterday.
Clerk:OK..what's your name?
PAC: It's for my blood pressure.
Clerk: OK..what's your name?
PAC: It should be ready. Check your computer.
Clerk: OK!!! What's your NAME?
PAC: Well, you don't have to be rude about it.
Clerk: ??????

Mike said...

@OldSquid: I haven't seen that episode of Scrubs, but it does sound funny! I may have to look that one up :)

I guess it wouldn't be nice to call rude patients and leave a message that "They should call the doctor about something" and not leave any specifics or doctor's name, huh? ;-)

Anonymous said...

I've actually done this before. Now, I don't know if your patient's reason was the same as mine but the reason I did it was to see if patients with certain insurance got quicker appointments than others. In my case, yes, it was true.

We had a crappy HMO at the time and nearly always had to wait exceedingly long periods of time to see the doctor. I got suspicious when I called to make an appt & the first question I was asked (NOT my name) was "What insurance do you have?" The receptionist then coughed & said, "Oh, excuse me, I mean your name please." So, the next time I called I gave no name, asked for an appt & said, "Oh & I have (fancy name) insurance." She gave me an appt time THEN asked for my name. I faked a hurried reason to get off the phone then called back a bit later telling my real info. I was given an appt time a WEEK later than the original time.

Finally I just flat out asked her, "Do people with certain insurance get quicker appt times?" and the receptionist then whispered "Yeah. The practice doesn't want to see people with (crappy HMO name) so we're told to give them bad appt times to discourage them from coming here."

Just one explanation for the weird call .... :-/

Anonymous said...

What does it mean when you get called from the doctor's assistant to make an appointment to TALK about a condition that you have never been diagnosed with and have not seen that doctor for over a year? They have ignored my request to explain and when I called them again, the office manager was on the line without my knowing it, suddenly "this is Ms. Office manager what seems to be the problem" and I told her. She verified that I wasn't diagnosed with COPD and there was no reason to come in. But why did they call me? She couldn't or wouldn't give me an explanation. What could be a reason for this?

Kat's Kats said...

A - Dr. Confused just bought a car s/he can't afford

B - The Office Managers in Building 1 are having a contest to see which office has the most number of patients in X period of time

C - Ms. Office Manager failed to take her medication for a week

D - All of the above

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