We’ve all met them. The “bad and the ugly,” I mean. Yep, I purposefully left out the “good.”
At some point in your life, you’ve surely had a bad experience with illness, and an even worse experience at the doctor’s office. Today, I’ve decided to put the spotlight on those doctors who have gone above and beyond the call of duty – leaving their patients in strange, uncomfortable places…
Maybe it’s due to the profiteering nature of the majority of medical degree pursuants, maybe it’s just the only way to stay afloat in the modern medical society – no matter the reasons, we find that new trends in “standard” medicine have begun to spring up. Certainly, there are good people in western medicine. I’ve met a few myself! But this blog post is, for the sake of a little fun, ignoring them completely. Let’s take a good-natured look at our funnier – and sometimes more frightening – friends in the medical industry!
- The Z-Pack
The “Z-Pack” is our first stereotype. Not because he or she is the most common, but because he’s the laziest. The Z-Pack doesn’t care what your disease is, because more than likely he’s gonna kill it. He’s got all the ammo and weapons to defeat that army of microbes in your body. Sinus infection? Z-Pack. The Flu? Z-pack. The Cold? Z-Pack. Broken arm? Z-Pack! That’s right: this guy’s going to kill anything bacterial, viral, or even physical with his magic bullet. It’s like he’s stuck in the year 1930 when penicillin was all the rage, and he’d just got a shipment off the train. Are his antibiotics useful? You bet. When it’s actually bacterial!
- The Uninterested
Moving on, we have the very common occurrence of the doctor who doesn’t even know your name. In fact, his computer is the only one who will remember you, because on the way to his office where you sat waiting, he read the forms you filled out and decided what medication to give you already. In fact, he already has his diagnosis based off of two check marks you put in a few tiny boxes. There will be a flaccid handshake as he introduces himself, he’ll stick a thermometer in your ear, and he’ll pretend to listen to you while he plans dinner in his head. Eventually, you’ll leave (probably with a prescription for a Z-Pack), and you’ll wait out the normal course of a 1-2 week flu, and everyone will be happy again. Except your checkbook.
- The 3rd Vacation Home
Which brings us to stereotype number three! How fast can he get you in and out of his office? Is it possible to see 100 patients in a day? This guy is Guinness World Record quality. He’s always trying to expedite the process and reduce costs, because, honestly, all you are to him is a signature on a credit card receipt. Well, taking that further, you’re his new Jet Ski or boat. When he was little he heard doctors were rich – now he has expensive malpractice insurance and 3 vacation homes.
- The “Woops…”
Speaking of malpractice insurance… The “Woops” is the doctor I hope you’ve never met. Statistically speaking, however, you’ve probably at least heard of him. This guy is known to say things like “It seems (someone else) has read the results of your blood panel incorrectly,” or “(Someone else) appears to have made an error in your paperwork.” Whoever someone else is, you’ll probably never find out, because The “Woops” doesn’t take responsibility or deal it out. He thrives in vagueness. In short, for whatever reason, this stereotype makes error after error. And it’s not always the doctor. This could be a nurse, physician’s assistant, or even a pharmacist. Needless to say, you probably don’t want to put your health in The “Woops’” hands.
- The Refer-a-Friend
If you’ve ever been under this practitioner’s care, you’ve also met his friends. This is the doctor that doesn’t really do anything. Whatever your particular disease or complaint, you’re getting shipped off to Timbuktu to see a “specialist.” Sometimes, this is simply for the financial kick-back – sometimes, he really just doesn’t know what to do with you. He’s like the gatekeeper of the medical industry – making some notes on your medical record as you drive or fly all over the country to find out you had common tendonitis. Often, this practitioner is all-at-once stereotypes 3, 4, 5 and…
- The Doomsayer
Is that a freckle, or is it stage-4 melanoma? You’ll never have to be a hypochondriac when this guy is doing it for you. This is the doctor that uses fear to get to your pocketbook. He transforms disease like an evil magician. Poof! That sinus infection might be in the brain. Poof! That nail might have given you tetanus. Poof! We’re going to need to be aggressive with the medication or we’ll have to amputate. Often, you’ll be subjected to test after test to “make sure” it’s just a seasonal illness or allergy. Frankly, this guy will scare the hell out of you.
- The Chain-Reaction
Seen so often with the elderly, and especially with psychiatric patients, The Chain-Reaction will have you on a drug for a drug for a drug for a drug. This stereotype treats side-effects the same way he treats your symptoms – more and more drugs. It’s like he’s in cahoots with the pill-box companies.
- The Secretary to the Assistant Nurse
Ever been to a doctor’s office, only to wait for 40 minutes and see a “assistant to the assistant?” While that might be an exaggeration, it’s become more and more commonplace for a doctor to have an army of assistants at his beck and call. More often than not, you’re paying to see someone with the appropriate education and experience, only to be treated by someone with a 2-year degree. Having said that – I actually think I’ve had way better experiences with nurses than with doctors, some of which were more knowledgeable than experienced physicians I’ve met. School isn’t everything! But, if I pay to see an Orthopedic Surgeon, you can bet I won’t be happy to talk to a physician’s assistant.
- The MIA
Speaking of the army of assistants… where the heck is the doctor? The MIA is last on the list, but first in prevalence. He’s the #1 stereotype you’ll never meet. This guy only exists as a name on the paperwork. He’s like a shadow, secretly moving behind the scenes, only spoken of in rumor. The nurses are like his portable speaker boxes, running room to room to tell the patients “what the doctor said.” Is this practitioner hanging out at his 3rd vacation home and corresponding by phone? Even worse, you think you might have seen him leaning against a desk and flirting with a nurse. Wherever he is, it’s offensive that he didn’t even speak with you.
As always, please remember that these are stereotypes, and as such do not apply to every single western medical practitioner out there.
If you’re in the mood for some more humor, check out other articles in our Just For Laughs section!