12 May 2006

Best Chief Complaint

1AM, Friday.

"I need a refill on my Viagra."

No foolin'.

The subsequent conversation went something like this:

Me: (exasperated) You came to the EMERGENCY room at 1AM for a refill on your Viagra?!?

Patient: But it is an emergency.

Me: (incredulous) This is the most trivial, non-urgent thing I have ever seen in the ER. How on earth could it be an emergency?

Patient: (completely impassive) I've got a date tonight.

I didn't have the heart to ask whether his "date" was yet to begin (at 1AM) or whether the girl (?) was waiting in the car. And no, I did not refill his medication, either. I gave him a stern talk abou responsibility and planning ahead and proper use of the ER, scolded him for wasting $200 of the taxpayers' money with such foolishness, and sent him out to his now-joyless date and a follow-up appointment with his Primary Care Physician. Perhaps it was mean of me to deny him the refill, but I work on the same philosophy as the National Park Service: "Don't Feed the Bears."

The mind reels.


  1. You just did what I am always way too chicken to do. I admire you :)

  2. Of course you realize the dude just went to the next ER and wasted another $200 of taxpayers' money with the same sad story.

  3. Oh, you mean, mean man! Now he's gonna come back tomorrow with Blue Balls and waste MORE taxpayers money!

    Actually, Carlos has a point. Did you void his visit charge so the taxpayers didn't have to pay for him getting nothing but your lecture????

  4. Well, I can't void the ED visit charge -- that's the hospital's perogative. And if I had voided the physician's charge -- well, then *I* wouldn't get the ten bucks coming to me. Why would I do that?

    Ten bucks. Woo hoo.

  5. The next time this happens you should hand the guy a copy of your "Each word a hammer" post. It might not sink in, but it's worth a try.


  6. Keep up the good work
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