My Medical Practice Christmas Wish List

December 19, 2011

Here are 10 things this private practice physician would like for Christmas.

Ah, the holidays are upon us, and with it the sounds and sights of the season. And along with mangers, menorahs, Santas, and sales, come some familiar end-of-year sights and sounds in the office:

“I can’t afford my medicine. I’m in the donut hole.”

“I know I gained weight, I kind of overdid it Thanksgiving.”

“I can’t come in for a follow-up I’m going to Florida for the next four months.”

“You have to see my daughter this week, it’s the only week she’s home from school.”

“I stopped checking my blood sugars. I know they’re high, I’ve been to three holiday parties this week.”

Sometimes I think I should close shop from November through February (everyone’s weight, Hba1c, and cholesterol is high in January). You know, hibernate, like a bear. Maybe that should be on the top of my wish list.

Here are some other things I’d like for Christmas:

1. A healthcare system that takes care of our older patients, especially those with limited income. These are, after all, the same people who are on 14 different drugs, and that adds up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month.

2. The same healthcare system that would weed out the abusers. I have a 30-year-old woman on disability for anxiety. She comes to the office with her five kids all under the age of seven. She makes me anxious, should I apply for disability?

3. If I can’t get the above healthcare system, I’d like enough free samples to keep my seniors stocked ‘til the new year, and the ability to tell my 30-something “disabled” patients to get off their behinds and get a job.

4. I’d like my former employee who quit over a year ago to stop applying for unemployment so that I don’t have to rearrange my schedule so the department of labor can interview me (for the second time) about her departure.

5. The fabled magic pill that all my patients want. It makes you lose weight without having to change what you eat. It has no side effects. It cures all your ills.

6. A sign outside my door that says, “If you’re tired, welcome to the club. That’s not a disease, that’s life.”

7. A big, blinky sign that says, “It’s not your thyroid, it’s the cheesecake you had last night.”

8. The ability to make people understand that it is OK to get older. You’re not 20 anymore. You won’t look like you’re 20, you won’t feel like you’re 20, and you know what? That’s normal.

9. An EHR and computer network that never, ever has a glitch in the middle of a work day.

10. To never have to hear the words “prior auth” ever again

I know, it’s all fantasy. but I continue to hope. And though I doubt my wishes will come true, I hope that all your holiday wishes come true and that you have a very happy and prosperous new year. OK, you may need a different profession for the “prosperous” part, but I at least hope for no payment cuts.

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