Dear Distinguished Members of Society,
Congratulations on completing your medical degree and kudos for your dedication to achieve a measure of excellence in your chosen specialty. I appreciate the time and financial resources it took to realize your dream. So, hats off to you for your perseverance.
Knowing the enormous burden it must be to uphold your sworn oath to do no harm, constantly exude confidence beyond that of us mere mortals, maintain the demanding schedule of seeing a new patient every 12.5 minutes and still make time to enjoy fine dining with pharmaceutical reps, I’d like to take this opportunity to let you know I am aware that my health is primarily my own responsibility. So, take a deep breath and relax. This will only take a minute. I just want to make you aware of a few things.
If I show up in the emergency room, for any reason other than a severed limb, I am not looking for Vicodin.
If I make an appointment with you, for any reason other than the spontaneous growth of an appendage not natural for my gender, I am not looking for hormone replacement therapy.
I will never waste your time or mine asking you to discuss what drugs might be right for me. I don’t want samples of anything, unless you’ve got something from Chanel.
Even if my labs show toxic levels of pesticides, herbicides, formaldehyde, asbestos and that orange shit they spray on Doritos, please don’t have your P.A. call me. Ever. I know it may be as difficult for you to deliver bad news over the phone as it is for you to remember my name after you’ve stepped out in the middle of our appointment for a meet and greet with some sharp dressed hottie from Eli Lilly, Astra Zeneca, Pfizer or Glaxo Smith Kline, but really, I know that your P.A. hates your guts and doesn’t care about anything except getting me off of their call sheet.
Chances are they won’t know the answers to my annoying questions anyway. So, just save us both some trouble and charge me an extra co-pay to see you face to face.
If you need help deciding what to do, treatments covered by my HMO are available online. Just pick something that will give me a fighting chance. Oh, and pick out something nice for yourself too. You know best what will help out with that payment on your beach house.
To sum up, I think it’s awesome that you drive a Jaguar and a Lexus. It makes me happy to be alive in an age when the business of healthcare can provide you with the lifestyle you so richly deserve after the great sacrifice you made for your education. I am sure it’s just stress that makes it so hard for you to treat me like a person. Keep trying though; I know you can do it!
You’re smart, right?
P.S. If you are a doctor reading this, we all know about the ridiculously high cost of malpractice insurance and how hard it is to hire competent staff. We also know that nurses do most of your job and that they make significantly less for the long hours and arrogance they have to endure. So there!