This is a blog post that was quite popular. It is mostly written in jest.
Top 10 lists are back!
I forgot about this kind of post, and a reminder by a reader is bringing them back. They are really a fun and easy kind of post to write, so you may see a fair number of them (read: Rob is getting lazy). I thought I’d start back with some suggestions for disgruntled patients (or grutled ones, for that matter) to make their doctor’s day much worse.
1. Require the doctor to keep things secret from your child or your elderly parent. Insist that they can’t know about their cancer, depression, ADD, or foot fungus. Call the medication the doctor prescribes “vitamins.” Alternatively, you can threaten your child by saying that if they don’t behave better, the doctor will give them a shot.
2. Disguise the real reason for your visit with something simple. For example, if you have depression or chest pain, set up an appointment for a sore throat. Make sure you leave all of the office staff in the dark as long as possible. It’s a bonus if you end the office visit asking them to check your hemorrhoids or help with a certain discharge you have been having.
3. Call your children nicknames that have nothing to do with their real names. Let’s say you have a son named “James Wadkins Smith”; you should call them “Trent” or “Flippy.” A daughter named “Anna Rose Jones” can go by “Jenny” or “Eva Marie.” You get extra points if you change what you call them every few months.
4. Smoke a pack of cigarettes or several cigars just before going to the doctor’s office. Then when you are asked if you smoke, say you don’t.
5. Ask for doctor’s notes for anything. If your car doesn’t start and you miss work, call to get a doctor’s note. If you don’t like fluorescent lighting and want incandescent lights at work/school, ask your doctor to write a letter stating that this is a medical necessity. Asking for a few days off of work because of “stress” is sure to have the desired effect.
6. If you are an employer or school district, make your employees or students get documentation for every single sick day. Make the docs fill out FMLA paperwork for sinus infections, and disability forms if it lasts more than 2 days. School districts should require a detailed asthma management plan on all patients with asthma.
7. Call frequently stating that you have a personal issue you need to discuss with the doctor, refusing to talk to anyone else. It’s best to call the office acting like you know the doctor well, referring to them by their first name. When you do get the doctor on the phone, start talking about your anxiety, depression, or bowel problems.
8. Send your teenage son or elderly parent with dementia to the office alone. Make sure you don’t leave any contact numbers and don’t tell the boy what you are sending him to the doctor for.
9. Invite friends and family. Having as many people in the examination room as possible is the goal. Having young children with ADHD is the ideal. Think clowns in a Volkswagen.
10. Bring your spouse or child to the office so the doctor will convince them that you are right. Open hostile arguments are important for the doctor to see just how wrong they are. Make it clear to your family member that the doctor is against them.