(This was previously published in a print mag which has since gone under. Please bow your heads for a moment of silence. Ok. You may read now. :-))
HOW TO BE A ROTTEN DOCTOR
Does your doctor measure up (down)?
Becoming a rotten doctor is an art. Specific behaviours must be learned and practised in order to join the infamous ranks of the truly terrible. Following are some of the important skills which should be mastered by would-be wretched physicians.
1) Always Keep ‘Em Waiting
Under no circumstances should you ever see your patients at the exact time of their appointment. Keep them waiting at least half an hour – one hour is ideal. The longer they have to wait, the more intimidated they’ll be: look how busy you are!
There are several ways this important goal can be achieved:
b) Arriving late in the morning and/or after lunch
c) Catching up on your sleep between patients
d) Chatting on the phone with your spouse/investment broker
2) Be In a Rush!
When you do finally see a patient, you should seem to be in as big a hurry as possible. Act as though you might flee out the door at any second.
Learn to be abrupt! You’ll know you’re doing it right when, as you dismiss a patient, his/her jaw drops as if to say, “Already?!”
3) Never Remember Names
This is key. If patients think they’ve made an impression on you to the extent that you actually get their names straight, where will it lead? No, you are far too important for such frills.
4.) Never Smile
Smiling is for mere mortals. You have weighty preoccupations, and are much too concerned with problems outside of the examining cubicle to tinker with social amenities.
Also: Avoid eye contact.
5) Do Not Explain Medications
Certain patients are renowned for their curiosity. Brush aside their questions; you are the expert, only you know exactly what’s best for them, and only you need to know. Do not tolerate second-guessing.
6) Write Illegibly
Practise abominable handwriting. This will:
a) Keep pharmacists on their toes
b) Render your case notes unreadable by anyone other than yourself. You certainly wouldn’t want a patient to peek at them and learn something.
7) Exercise Inaccessibility
Why should you let patients bother you with their annoying complaints and questions? Set up a system of blocks – like a pyramidal fortress – as follows:
a) Receptionist (trained to take patients’ messages and pass them up to the secretary);
b) Secretary (preferably one who is trained not to return patients’ calls); and finally:
c) You (with your door closed)
8) Overwork Your Staff
Try to get away with the minimum amount of personnel that is possible. The object is to keep your staff chronically on the brink of a nervous breakdown. (This takes great skill, so be careful! You wouldn’t want to have to pay for their sick leave!)
It also helps if you remember to criticize staff efforts often, or, at the very least, never give praise.
And of course: Underpay.
Naturally, you will have some turnover of staff due to these measures, but that is a small sacrifice to make in order to instill unhappiness in your employees – whoever they may be – which is your goal.
By now you must realize that it takes much hard work and dedication to become a rotten doctor. Just remember: practice makes perfect. If you will diligently apply the techniques outlined above, you will surely succeed where many others have failed. Go for it!