• linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    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?

    1 Comment

    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • UBM User
      Sharing this article. Thank you, for the insight.

    Latest Tweets Follow