Thursday, December 22, 2011

Where Everybody Knows Your Name

I had a seat in the doctor's office and awaited the call. Presently a young lady stepped through the door and called, "David." I was so startled, inasmuch as I am not accustomed to being called by my given name by persons at least two generations younger than I, that I did not immediately respond. Again she called, "David," and I got up and went along with her.

In the exam room, the young lady had written down perhaps three of my responses to the request to list my expectations of the visit when there was a knock on the door. Another young person entered. The two ladies compared charts and concluded that my interrogator had the wrong "David." I remarked that I thought it strange that they did not page me using my surname. "Oh," the Perky Young Thing said, "we aren't allowed to use surnames due to privacy issues."
I wanted to say "Poppycock," but I am a gentleman and held my peace.

There is no reason on this green earth, privacy issues, legal profession, inept or heavy-handed bureaucracies, why civility should not reign in the medical workplace.

This sort of tomfoolery needs to cease.

What say you to the "privacy issue" of my responses being recorded on someone else's chart?


John Cowart said...

Glad they got the right David.

The guy who first diagnosed my cancer went over the charts with my wife and me, gave us the papers to help us in our decisions, sent us home to talk it over... where we found all the papers related to another man!

Carried these papers and x-rays back to the doctor expecting him to go over my own charts, but he just said the other guy's cancer is about the same as mine so there was no need to go over my own papers, x-rays, etc with me.

I should have suspected something when the sign in that doctor's office said, "Place urine specimens HEAR".

I go to a different doctor now.

What do they call the guy who makes a D- in medical school?


Jim said...

The people who called you by your first name are essentially peons who simply have to follow directions such as, "Call people by their first names." Were you to inquire after who set that policy, however, I'm sure nobody would know. It might be a HIPAA thing.

Lin said...

The world's gone crazy, I tell ya.

We were just talking about this the other day--how I still call my elders Mr. or Mrs.--much to THEIR chagrin. But I can't do it--I can't call an elder by their first name and I drill that into my kids as well. If an adult insists, I have them call them Mr. Tim or Mrs. Judy. It's weird, but that is how it goes in my house.

I'm so sick of this "privacy" foolishness. I pretend I'm Joe a LOT on the phone for simple inquiries.

As for mixing up medical files--didn't they confirm your birthdate like a cabillion times??? They do at my doctor's office.

Secondary Roads said...

To Mr Cowart, Remember that half of all doctors graduate in the bottom 50% of their class. Doesn't that thrill you?

Our national culture has shifted. Folks use given names regardless of age differences. That doesn't bother me at church or (when I went there) the work place. It is the doctor's office where it feels most uncomfortable. Particularly when you are dealing with someone who is a generation or two younger who calls you by your given name but you must refer to them by title or title and surname.

It seems that familiarity has defeated respect. I do like what Lin has done in teaching respect to her children. You've given us something to think about.

vanilla said...

John, your experience is so much worse than mine makes me look like a whiner. At least I got competent medical attention.

Jim, I know that people have to follow directives from "higher up." I was not unkind to anyone, but I did write a letter to "corporate."

Lin, nope. Only confirmed my birthdate after the second girl came into the room with another chart. And yes, when the automated phone voice asks, "Is this Grace?" I say yes.

Chuck, I truly don't mind being called by my first name. I really don't need the "Mr." to prop me up. But I do believe strongly that procedures in a medical facility should not be conducted in such an off-hand manner. And the "privacy issues" excuse is such a crock.

Grace said...

I won't allow it. I am Mrs. St. Clair or Miss Grace (I lived in the South for quite a while). And when I am called by my first name by someone I don't know, I remind them of the proper way to address me. I'm sure after that they are referring to me as "old b***h, don't care what they call me behind my back - to my face I am Mrs. or Miss. End of conversation. Privacy issues my butt...

vanilla said...

Grace: Good for you, Mrs. St. Clair. I heard my 92 year-old mother-in-law put a twitlet in her place over the same issue many years ago.

Rebecca Mecomber said...

I heartily agree! I am only in my mid-40s but I prefer being addressed by my surname in a business environment. So it's now "illegal" to address someone in this manner? That's insane!

vanilla said...

Rebecca, I suspect it is not "illegal" in the sense that it is a violation of legislation; yet it may be a violation of some bureaucrat's notion of what should be. Grrr!