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    Reflections on medicine from a duly registered and certified curmudgeon

    Thoughts of setting fire to my desk appeared in a lovely cloud above my head. Hovering gently, they lingered.My inner curmudgeon raged, urging me on.  

    “Do it!” Do it!”

    So much garbage. So little time.

     

    Hot topic: Can patient satisfaction and quality care coexist?

     

    An efficiency expert that I once knew suggested that I burn, shred or pour molten chocolate all over the junk on my desk. In this way, I could gaze upon a cleared, if somewhat charred and smoky-smelling desk. 

    I mused, wondering if there was really a desk underneath it all, or just masses of paperwork, pre-authorizations, denials, PQRS reminders, HIPAA notifications, OSHA mandates, Medicare Recovery Audit Contractor information… all just piled there with no desk beneath it.

    If something was important, such as a bill, it would reappear next month with a friendly reminder. And the other stuff would reappear next month, too. Good advice.

    Armageddon, my superb office manager, tried to help. She had organized piles. A red poster sheet highlighted with pre-authorizations. There was a green one: Prescription refills. The blue pile cried out: Absolutely necessary studies denied by the absurdity of insurance companies that don’t give a darn about the welfare of our patients, and I will get their peer entities on the phone and waste time, but the patient will have what he/she needs.

    Ah, Armageddon, you know me so well.

     

    Further reading: Top 10 challenges facing physicians in 2017

     

    I am Doctor Curmudgeon.

    I have been practicing medicine since the Pleistocene Era. I yowl at injustice, wastefulness and the lack of concern for the health of my patients from all those Powers That Be. And I can remember the good old days when I had nothing to worry about except my patients and keeping up with what was going on in medicine. Sheer bliss. Little did I know that things would change and I would become Doctor Curmudgeon.

    Next: How can I deal with all this claptrap in the way of my patient and me?

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      Sharing this article. Thank you, for the insight.

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