Feet First

“It is much more important to know what sort of a patient has a disease than what sort of a disease a patient has.” - Sir William Osler

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    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    There are days I really wish I had a cutlass and an eye patch so that I could run down the hall spearing patients at will.

    Today has been one such day. I had a new patient, very sweet woman with a multitude of medical problems, come in to the office. Among her other requests was a list of medication refills. She takes fifteen medications. Fifteen.

    I sent her down the hall for an X-ray and lab tests while I wrote all fifteen prescriptions. When she got back, before she left, she looked at the prescriptions and looked puzzled.

    "Are these all for three months?" (Mail-order prescriptions are written in ninety-day quantities.)

    "No, these are regular prescriptions that you take to the pharmacy."

    "No, no, I use mail order." (Needless to say, she said nothing about mail order when she handed me her list.)

    I really really really wished I had a cutlass at that point. I settled for telling her that I was sorry, but I had no time to rewrite her prescriptions just then. Arrr.



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