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Doctor Curmudgeon® Advice! Advice! Cheap & Free!


By Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D. FAAP

It was many moons ago when Doctor Curmudgeon® received questions from other physicians and was asked to publish a column with her answers.

Guided by the wisdom found in the diary of her great great Grandmother,, Dr. Cranky Wangshaw-Vesalius-Steinberger, she provided responses (As the whole world knows, Dr. Cranky was one of the rare women physicians in her era, a friend of the esteemed Dr. Watson, and cared for his most famous patient, Sherlock Holmes when the good doctor was away on sorties of various kinds. Occasionally, the elegant Dr. Cranky appears before her granddaughter to cajole, commiserate and offer insights)

In the ensuing months since her advice column was first proffered, Doctor Curmudgeon® has received no requests for a further column, neither by email, archaic telephone, messages, carrier pigeon, and pony express or by smoke signals.

Nevertheless, she feels that it behooves her to respond to questions that have managed to float across her desk and to publish some queries she has received anyway

PATIENT: “You told me to take a vitamin D3 capsule every other day and you said I ought to take it with food, because it is fatty. And I’ve gained weight and it’s because you told me to take it! So there!”

ME: “No, no and no. I do not want you to take too much of this vitamin as it is fat soluble and can stay in your tissues if you have too much. You weighed 248 before starting the vitamin and now you weight 250. You are not obese because of the vitamin D. I saw you eating big fat doughnuts in the waiting room and washing them down with sodas. In fact, there are still some sprinkles on your shirt. Is that in case you get hungry later?”

PATIENT: “Yeah? So, if you’re so smart…how can I lose weight?”

The sage advice of Doctor Curmudgeon® Stop eating that crappy, dunked in fat, loaded with sugar, food and drink. And if you can’t do that, the dentist next door can always wire your mouth shut.

As I lumbered up the steps to my office, I met another physician lumbering down and he asked me, “You know I’ve often wondered about new patients who spend the first five minutes raving about me …really makes me feel good, but then they really trash their previous docs. Does that happen to you? Does it make you feel uncomfortable?”

The sage advice of Doctor Curmudgeon® Terminate! Terminate! Terminate! They will be trouble. You will be next on their trash heap, no matter what you do.

And there is the physician friend who tearfully told me of his desk that was no longer visible due to the mountain of papers, non-essential stuff like pre-auths, missives from insurance companies wanting him to become a law enforcement officer because a patient was not taking their meds etc.etc.etc.

The sage advice of Doctor Curmudgeon® Do what I once did. Set it on fire!
My poor friend gasped and grimaced as if in pain

Reaching up to pat him on his head, I continued with the sage advice of Doctor Curmudgeon® Don’t worry. If there was anything important, you’ll get it again next month. And this way you will feel so good about burning all the garbage we get. AND, you will start with a clean desk and be able to see what it looks like. Bet you don’t know what kind of wood it was!

So, remember that Doctor Curmudgeon® is always here for you. Send your questions. She may or may not answer.

Doctor Curmudgeon® is Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D., a physician-satirist. This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors.

SERMO www.sermo.com “talk real world medicine”

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