The government is into preventative medicine or something like that these days, so if you go to your friendly local orthopod's office, they have to ask you about your most recent mammogram, your sexual history, and your vaccination status. Technically they don't, but the way funding is set up, they get reimbursed more if it looks like they care about the patient as a whole. In addition, we are now giving out what we refer to as the "you are fat" handout. The "you are fat" handout goes to anyone with a BMI>25, which is technically overweight going by the BMI calculator (as in, not taking muscle mass into account, etc) but it's not fat. Or at least, it doesn't have to be. Not only that, but you have to give it to a patient each time he/she comes to your office. I guess to make sure they know they're still fat. There's a second "you are fat" handout that you get if your BMI is over 30, which I believe is "obese" if we use the BMI scale. Your office gets reimbursed more if you show you're giving out the "you are fat" handout so we're all doing it these days.
For obvious reasons, I am not a fan of the "you are fat" handout. I mean, I feel like I wouldn't go back to a doctor if the first thing he did was give me the "you are fat" handout. From what I hear, I am not alone in this regard. Apparently there was a 20 year old who started crying hysterically upon being presented with the "you are fat" handout. They haven't seen her since. Also, most of the attendings are really not all that thin. Dr. Orthoking Jr probably weight around 300lbs, so I can't imagine anyone would take the "you are fat" handout seriously if it came from him. He's probably the fattest, but there's a whole pile of them who really aren't so thin. So I'm not sure how seriously I would take the "you are fat" handout if it was coming from someone who was, uh, fat.
Also, the "you are fat" handout is causing me some distress and I haven't even gotten it. The other day in the OR, Dr. Chatterbox was talking about it and he said "I bet everyone in this room has a BMI over 25!" That seems like the wrong thing to say in a room full of women. He then said 'I think everyone in my office has a BMI over 25...well...maybe not the new girl." So I had to calculate my BMI after the case to see if I was, in fact, over 25. I am not. I calculated what my weight would have to be for me to be 25 and I am below that by a wide enough margin that I could go to the all you can eat buffet tonight and then I could still be under 25 tomorrow morning. (I do not think I could do that more than once, however) But still, I don't want my attending to think I need the "you are fat" handout because, like I said, I'm a little bit touchy about it.
Today the "you are fat" handout was mentioned again and I said I had calculated my BMI and I was definitely not over 25 and Dr. Chatterbox said "oh, so what are you? #?"
...and...I got a great evaluation today in the OR. And it has nothing to do with Dr. Chatterbox feeling bad about overestimating my weight by the time I was done. I totally deserved all those "excellents."