Thursday, November 8, 2007


I can't believe I wrote an entire post on Plavix. I must have been bored as hell in clinic yesterday. Quite possibly one of the more tedious posts of all-time. Poor plavix. It was a venomous attack.

The issue today is gifts/favors from patients. I have a cool little Italian lady who is one year out from a mastectomy for multifocal/multicentric DCIS. Just a classy, composed lady throughout the whole ordeal. She returned the other day for a routine follow up. Surveillance mammogram was clean. She was on Arimidex. Basically, it was a social visit. I was asking what she thought the best Italian restaurants were in Cleveland and she named a few, with the caveat that none of them could make sauce the way she could. Then she asked if my wife and I wanted to come over for dinner some time. I took her number and said "we'll see". Is this illegal? Will the HIPAA police come after me? Is it inappropriate to eat delicious lasagna with a patient whom I operated on last year? I'm still hedging.

And then there's the demented old guy I operated on a few weeks ago for severe C diff colitis. Yesterday an aide from the nursing home wheeled him in with a bouquet of flowers on his lap. The card read something along the lines of, thank you so much for helping my husband and god bless. Nice gesture, I thought. And then when I tried to move the flowers to examine him, he shouted "don't you effing touch me!" I had no problem accepting his wife's gift.


rlbates said...

I try to be gracious when accepting gifts from patients. I have never had anyone try to give me a "large" or "expensive" gift. I would have to find a way to decline those, but when they bring me cookies they made "just for you" I have a hard time turning them down. I always try (if there is enough) to share them with the OR or someone else.

Bruce said...

Food and flowers...delightful...and well within the AMA guidelines.

Sid Schwab said...

getting little items from patients is touching. Hand-made things, hand-grown. It's nice.