Monday, June 13, 2016


Years ago my father-in-law hit me up for Viagra samples. I was happy to give him some, but Viagra reps generally don't call on neurologists.

But, because I like the guy, and Christmas was around the corner, I asked my drug rep about it. She was able to have some shipped to me (probably thought they were for me). So I packed them up and mailed them to his house.

About 2 weeks went by, and I didn't hear from him. I began wondering if they were lost in the mail, so I called him. Turned out, due to heavy snow fall and being retired, they hadn't been down to their mailbox for 1-2 weeks. He thanked me for having sent them, and put his wife on the line to chat.

While she and I were talking I heard some crashing noises in the background, followed by a loud mechanical roar.

Dr. Grumpy: "What's all that noise?"

Mother-in-law: "No idea what he's doing. He tore up the garage looking for something, and then just ran out in the driveway with the snowblower. I wonder what he's up to?"

I told her I had to take a call from the hospital, and got off the phone.

Note: This post is just for the humor. For those who want to write in about the medical-legal aspects of this... It happened early in my career, when I was young and naive. Time and experience have taught me not to do things like this.


John Woolman said...

Hmm. In some countries the professional registration bodies don't have a statute of limitations. I would have been inclined not to publish that.

Old RPh said...

Along that same line - When I first got out of pharmacy school, most of the old pharmacists I worked with had almost as diverse a prescrption drug inventory at their homes, as they had at the drug stores.
No need to get excited everyone - that's no longer the case.
Great story Dr G. Thanks for sharing.

Packer said...

So you pulled a boner.

Dr. G you need to stop being so HARD ON yourself.

Don't listen to Woodman above, what oh !, don't listen to Woolman above

I think you are the best son in law ever.

Mage said...

Still, that was a happy man.

Agenericdoc said...

Will this post be reported to the FDA on an application to get snow removal as an indication for Viagra?

Ms. Donna said...

I hope your MIL smiled upon you after that. Your FIL was very pleased his little girl married a doctor.

Of course, I AM assuming your FIL used the medication within his marriage. (NO, I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW!!!!!!! ;-))

Anonymous said...

Brings new meaning to 'tearing up the snowblower'

Candi said...

They most likely won't bother to do anything about it. Just like any enforcement arm, they have to pick and choose what they go after, and a case a decade or two old at least with minimal evidence except a statement it happened isn't really worth their time.

One reason someone should go to a doctor for a prescription for Viagra is it's one of the few times most seemingly healthy men go to the doctor. Doctors often take the chance given to do a full workup, particularly since one of the causes of needing Viagra is blood vessels becoming blocked -including those around the heart. Smaller vessels just show it first.

Officer Cynical said...

Patient: "Doc, you gotta help me! My love life is horrible! My wife won't let me near her!"
Doc: "Look at you! You're in terrible shape! I want you to run 10 miles a day and call me back in 2 weeks".
***2 weeks later, on the phone***
Patient: "Well, I ran 10 miles every day for 2 weeks like you said."
Doc: "So, how's the love life now?"
Patient: "I have no idea! I'm 140 miles from home!"

(Thank you, Henny Youngman)

Andy Syms said...

Regarding Mr Woodman... Er... Sorry, Woolman...

I used to live near a village called Woolhampton which would always raise a wry smile whenever I drove through it. ;-)

[Hint: For those that don't get it Google Hampton Wick Cockney Rhyming Slang]

Anonymous said...

Many years ago when I ran a youth soccer program a physician's son was one of our players. I had tendinitis in my elbow and was wearing one of those elastic sleeves, so asked me what was wrong. I told him. The next day at practice he brought me a bag full of Vioxx samples which, we all know now, had some pretty nasty side effects but at the time it was the go-to for things like that, and it fixed me right up. I was very appreciative of his kindness, although clearly not as appreciative as I'm sure your FIL was! Back then, docs did a lot of things they wouldn't think of doing now. And sometimes, I think we're the worse for it.

Anonymous said...

The old saying is that doctor's families can always be cured by what is in sample closet. Does not work now as few give samples and the paperwork to manage them is overwhelming, so no one wants them.

RehabRN said...

Oh Dr. G., if you've only seen what I've seen in my very short (less than a decade) nursing career.

1. An older brother in law offering to write me a script for some Vicodin. He's a specialist who never writes pain meds BTW.

The younger is a radiologist, so he never offers me any scripts, not even for a mammogram (his specialty).

2. A patient I worked with had his/her brother-in-law as his/her attending while in the Saintarama Rehab. Said MD was a VIP in this hospital, so they all looked aside. I was new, and did not realize the moral issues, until one day when the two nearly got into fisticuffs in the room.

It was very unusual to say the least. And management looked aside. Thankfully, the patient had enough issues that bro-in-law followed him/her on only the simple ones. The specialists did the rest.

Shash said...

Having been the partner of a Viagra enthusiast, I kinda feel sorry for you MIL. LOL

Anonymous said...

My father in law was a family physician, and he could treat just about anything out of his medical bag (even at the cottage). Allergic reaction? No problem. Migraine? Here is some Demorol. You have an infection? Let's see what antibiotics I have here...

No one died. No one suffered. Everyone got better!

No, obviously that is not how it should be done, and he is long gone now, but I admit it was an eye opener when I joined the family!

Library-Gryffon said...

So much about the practice of medicine has changed over the years.

My grandfather was an English major in college, and even started working on an MA in English. That didn't work out and he switched to medicine. During his career he worked as a surgeon, a pathologist, and ended up as a radiologist. I can't imagine any physician being able to change specialties these days, particularly not mid-career.

I suspect today what he'd find the hardest to adjust to are the trend of treating the lab values and not the patient, and the belief by a seeming majority of patients that anything that goes wrong is always the doctor's fault and must be settled by a law suit.

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