Tuesday, November 12, 2019

You're a doctor?

The other day I was with my daughter at a play date with one of her friends. I’ve known the parents of this friend for close to a year. I happened to mention I will be working the next day (it was Saturday).

Mother: “ I just realized I don’t know what you do.“

Me: “Well... I’m a doctor.“

Mother: “You are? Oh my God, I had no idea. Usually when people are doctors, I find out about five minutes after meeting them.”

I had a few other similar experiences recently, where it turned out somebody I knew for a long time didn’t realize I was a doctor. I guess this is information I don’t put out there too quickly. It seems odd though. It’s not like my career is a secret, but maybe I feel that people make assumptions of me once they know I’m a doctor.

Monday, October 28, 2019

The water bottle

OK, I need your advice.

I started bringing a water bottle to work, because I believe wholeheartedly in the amazing power of WATER.  So I like to drink a lot of it during the day.  I rinse it out every day and wash it with soap twice a week.

However, a week ago, while I was drinking from the water bottle when I noticed there was some black crud in the drinking straw.  This inspired me to grab some cotton-tipped applicators from the supply closet and clean out the straw.  The cotton came away BLACK.  I used six of them, then washed again with soap, and then christened the water bottle as clean.

But when recounting this story to a coworker, they said I should have thrown it out and bought a new one.  That no matter how much I cleaned, it was not clean.  But to be fair, this coworker spends about ten minutes wiping down her work station every morning. (I'm not saying she's wrong to do that, but that's a level of disinfection I don't embrace.)

What do you think?  Can I still use my water bottle?  Is there a way to prevent this from happening again besides the cotton tips?

Monday, October 21, 2019

Have you ever done this before

This amazing cartoon was drawn by my daughter, who is only TWELVE!  Clearly, she is way more talented than her mom.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Little girl

Yesterday I was at a drug store and while i was shopping, a preteen girl approached me. 

"Excuse me," she said.  "I'm collecting money for my soccer team.  Are you able to make a donation?"

I was really surprised.  I've never been asked for money randomly while shopping at a store.  I told her no, mostly because I was upset she interrupted me (I had my headphones in and I had to remove them to hear her).  But part of me was tempted to either tell her what she was doing would get her kicked out of the store, or else let the management know.

Then I thought I'd seem like a horrible person if I did that.  So I didn't.

What would you have done in that situation?

Thursday, March 7, 2019


I was dictating an H&P about a patient who had a CABG, and I was amazed at how Dragon translated me saying "cabbage" into "CABG."

Me: "But what if I want to say 'cabbage'?"

My colleague: "Maybe if the context is right, it will use cabbage."

Me: [dictating] "'Patient has an allergy to cabbage.  Patient likes to eat cabbage.'  Nope, still CABG."

My colleague: "But to be fair, how often do you want to dictate cabbage?"

Me: "Watch. My next patient will have choked on a cabbage."

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Slamming the door

Recently, I was getting up to get ready to take my daughter to an event when my doorbell rang.  I got up and answered the door.  A woman was standing there with a clipboard.

Woman: "Hi!  My name is Christina!"

Me: "Um, hi?"

Woman: "What's your name?"

Me: "Who are you?"

Woman: "Oh!  I'm with Amnesty International and I--"

Me: "Look, I'm sorry, but I'm in a rush to take my daughter somewhere and I don't have time."

Woman: "Well, let me just tell you for thirty seconds about Amnesty International..." [goes on for about ten seconds while I'm standing there, trying not to be outright rude and also cold because she's letting all the cold air into the house and I'm in a short-sleeved shirt]

Me: "Look, I don't want to slam the door in your face, but I told you I'm in a rush to get somewhere, so I'm going to close the door."

The whole interaction really pissed me off because I've heard Amnesty International isn't a bad organization, but she got me so angry in that minute of interaction that I would never consider giving them money ever.  I assume this pushy approach must work on some people, but seriously, at the point that I said I needed to go, did she really think I was listening or going to hand her money?  

I give a lot of money to charity, but I would NEVER give money to a solicitor who showed up at my front door.  

Thursday, February 21, 2019


Me: "Hi, this is Dr. McFizz calling from My Hospital about a mutual patient RareFirstName RareLastName.  I have a question about the patient."

Receptionist: "Okay, can you spell his name?"

Me: [spells name and gives date of birth]

Receptionist: "And can you give me his home address?"

Me: "No, I don't have that."

Receptionist: "Well, we need it to make sure we have the right patient."

Me: "You mean there's another 81-year-old man in your system named RareFirstName RareLastName?"

Receptionist: "We need it for security."

Me: "Fine." [I find a computer, log in, get the address, and read it to her.]

Receptionist: "And can you verify his phone number?"

Me: [reads off phone number]

Receptionist: "And can you verify his insurance?"

Me: "No. I will not. This is ridiculous.  I have never once had to give this information to speak with a doctor's office to get medical information.  I just need to know how long your office would like him be on Lovenox for."

Receptionist: "Well, that's a pill, right?  I don't see anything about it here, so he should continue it till his appointment."

Me: "Lovenox is an injection."

Receptionist: "Well, it doesn't mention anything about it here.  So I'd say continue it until his appointment next month."

Me: "So you're saying he needs to inject himself with a blood thinner every day for the next month because you can't be bothered to ask anyone about it."

Receptionist: "Ummm.... let me get you his nurse."

OMG, I try not to yell at people on the phone, but seriously, if you don't know the answer to a medical question, don't just make something up! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2019


Please help me!

If you read and enjoyed my new book, The Ex, would you consider leaving a review?? I have had multiple people tell me they left reviews but not even one of them has shown up yet in Amazon.  I think my book may be broken or god knows what.  So if you are at all inclined to help me, please do this and let me know if it posts!  I’d be eternally grateful!

Here's a helpful link.

Friday, February 8, 2019

The Yearbook

My medical school didn’t have an official yearbook.

For this reason, one of the students in our class, let’s call her Donna, decided to lead us in creating a yearbook. We all wanted a yearbook, so everyone was very eager. I myself dedicated a lot of my time to help work on the pictures and the design. We also sold advertising space to local businesses and a lot of people’s family members bought ad space to congratulate the graduates.

When graduation came, Donna told us that the yearbooks were not ready, in part because it significant number of people had not paid for them on time. So she didn’t have enough money and they missed the publishers deadline.

Over the next year or two, we got intermittent updates from Donna about the publishing process and had to keep giving her updated mailing addresses for when the book was finally ready.

It is now over a decade later, and I still have not received the yearbook that I worked hard on and spent $50 for.

At this point, I’m not going to make a thing of it. Donna is my Facebook friend, but not actual friend, and I can’t imagine bringing that up to her. And sadly, I’ve not really kept in touch with any of my med school friends.  So I suppose it’s possible some people did get the yearbook and it was actually printed. But the last time I asked somebody about it, which was years after graduation, nobody had.

So I have to wonder, what happened to all the money? I mean, we are probably talking about $10,000 or so.  Where are our yearbooks??  I don’t even want it that much at this point, but I’m just curious what happened!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

An apology?

I have this friend who I’ve known for several years, who I would consider one of my closest friends. But recently, she’s been acting a little bit… To put it simply, mean.  She’s been making some hurtful comments that have come out of nowhere, but I tried to ignore them because we were such good friends and I didn’t want to throw it away.  And I also sensed she might have been going through something she was keeping to herself.

Anyway, the two of us often carpool to book club together.  Because she doesn’t like to drive and has frequent issues with her car, I often pick her up and bring her to book club. It is in the opposite direction of the restaurant where we usually meet, so it’s an extra 20 minutes of driving for me in either direction, but I didn’t mind doing it and I never made a thing of it. And if I ever had an issue where I couldn’t drive, she would pick me up, but 90% of the time, I was picking her up.  Ditto when we got together to go elsewhere. 

Recently, I texted her to find out if she could be the one to drive to the next book club, because for reasons I don’t want to get into, I wasn’t sure if I was going to have my car available. She didn’t respond, so I sent her another couple of texts, thinking maybe she hadn’t seen my first text.

When she finally responded, she sort of blew up at me over text message. She told me I was selfish for asking her repeatedly to bring me to book club when she had been ill the last few days (which I didn’t know).  I showed her text messages to my husband, and he was totally shocked, especially given how many times I have driven her. After some of the complaints I had lately about her, he said that I shouldn’t speak to her anymore.

But after years of friendship, I felt I couldn’t do that. So I basically wrote her an email explaining to her nicely that what she had written had hurt my feelings and why. A day later, she responded:

“I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings.  We will always be friends no matter what.”

That response really bothered me. Because she didn’t apologize, first of all. Saying she didn’t mean to hurt my feelings is not an apology. An apology involves the word “sorry.“ She didn’t even offer to drive me to the book club to make amends. Furthermore, I didn’t write to her to be reassured that we would be friends.  So the second statement was odd, especially considering it’s been weeks since then and I haven’t heard from her so I am feeling like if I don’t reach out, we are no longer friends.

What do you think? Did her response count as an apology?

Monday, January 7, 2019


A colleague of mine was recently asking me this question and I couldn't figure out how to answer it...

As doctors, filling out paperwork for patients and family to get Family Medical Leave is something we sometimes have to do.  My understanding (from the times I've done it for patients and taken it myself when I had a baby) is that it guarantees when you take no more than 12 weeks leave, your job will be safe.

My colleague was saying that if he discharges a patient to a nursing home or assisted living, he won't fill out FMLA paperwork for family members.  Because the patient isn't going home, so why do they need to take a leave?  They're taking advantage of the system!

I'm not sure how to respond.  This isn't like giving someone a handicapped placard.  This is an unpaid leave.  A lot of people can't even afford to take 12 weeks off without a salary.  So I figure if they want that, it's for a good reason.


Wednesday, January 2, 2019

I don't get it

I recently wrote a new women’s thriller. I thought of this really great twist for the ending, and then kind of worked my way backwards.

The first person who read the book thought the twist was pretty cool. But then my mother read it.

“I don’t understand the ending,” she said.

“What part didn’t you understand?”

“All of it.”

I proceeded to try to explain it to her. And she still didn’t understand. After several minutes of this, she said she had a headache and walked away.

So I’ve come up with a brilliant twist. So brilliant, apparently it’s impossible to understand.