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"You might be a hospitalist ... "
One physician's special brand of hospital medicine humor
by Erik DeLue, MD, MBA



Published in the April 2010 issue of Today's Hospitalist

With apologies to comedian Jeff Foxworthy and his classic line of "You might be a redneck Ö " jokes, Iíd like to add to my own tradition of Aprilís Foolsí commentaries with the following stab at humor. All are meant in the spirit of good fun, of course.

I also want to thank my friend and colleague Tarun Kapoor, MD, for his contributions. If you are familiar with my work, please give him full credit for anything you do not find funny. If you think itís hilarious, rest assured that I
You might be a hospitalist if you know the date and time but have no idea what day of the week it is.

am the sole author.

Iím grouping them in categories to make it easier to find just the right one for any medical staff occasion:

Consults

You might be a hospitalist if, upon discovering that one of your 20 patients doesnít have a single subspecialty consult, you think, "My god, Iím the only doctor taking care of this patient!"

You might be a hospitalist if you find yourself serving as medical consultant on a complicated patient with CHF, renal failure and sepsis, and think, "My god, Iím the only doctor taking care of this patient!"

Collegiality

You might be a hospitalist if a general surgeon asks you to admit a 24-year-old with acute appendicitis because of the patientís comorbid condition: allergic rhinitis.

You might be a hospitalist if the orthopedist consults you for medical managementó after youíve already been seeing the patient for the past three days.

You might be a hospitalist if the ED doctor tells you, "Admission, room 6." When you ask, "Any more information?", he says, "Yeah, thanks for asking. Admission, room 7, too."

Lifestyle

You might be a hospitalist if you know the date and time but have no idea what day of the week it is.

You might be a hospitalist if, when asked your favorite part of a week-on/week-off schedule, you answer, "Week off."

Respect

You might be a hospitalist if you are nostalgic for all that power you wielded your intern year.

Communication

You might be a hospitalist if, in trying to update a referring primary care doctor, you spend half your day listening to the automated preamble on the office answering machine: "If this is a true emergency, please hang up and dial 911 ..."

You might be a hospitalist if your sign-out consists of only the following: "Good luck, see you next week."

Administrative relations

You might be a hospitalist if, when your VPMA tells you your Press Ganey score, you say, "Wait, 10th percentileóthatís good, right?"

You might be a hospitalist if your CEO complains, "Your subsidy is greater than the GDP of Kazakhstan."

Recruiting

You might be a hospitalist medical director if you immediately translate "All charges were dropped" into "Can start next week."

You might be a hospitalist medical director if you make up terms like "holiweekendalist." Itís a term coined by a friend of mine recruiting hospitalists willing to do part-time work on holidays and weekends.

Clinical

You might be a hospitalist if any condition that does not alter "AFVSS" registers only as "Outpatient Workup."

You might be a hospitalist if you know that a "bear hugger" is not an overzealous PETA member.

You might be a hospitalist if your first thought on seeing "DRE" is not a famous rapper.

Billing

You might be a hospitalist if you have less trouble explaining the principles of quantum physics than figuring out the right follow-up patient visit code to bill.

Finally, you might be a hospitalist if you flip through Todayís Hospitalist and think "DeLue again? Well, at least thereís a nice review of common causes of nosocomial diarrhea on page 16."

Erik DeLue, MD, MBA, is medical director of the hospitalist program at Virtua Memorial in Mt. Holly, N.J. Check out Dr. DeLueís blog and others on the Todayís Hospitalist Web site at www.todayshospitalist.com.
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