VIPs. Very Important Persons

I hated it when office staff said “We have a VIP coming in today”.
My eyes would roll. Sometimes so bad you could hear it! That always meant

somebody who felt they were more important than everybody else

They are frequently not nice people. Usually demanding and unappreciative and sometimes nasty. They are very often high maintenance. I would often spend my time arguing with them about why they couldn’t get exactly what they wanted when they wanted it.

We all have somebody who owes us a favor, but I was damned if I was going to use up that favor on these self-important jerks.

Nobody is more important than anybody else.

Now there may be people who you might make accommodations for in scheduling because they have an important business relationship with your group. You might work in friends because they called you about their daughter who got hurt in a soccer tournament that weekend. I get it. We don’t practice in a vacuum.

But sometimes people would call in and want to be seen and say “We are close, personal friends of Dr Chase.” But that usually meant they weren’t. My office staff learned to ask me if they were “just friends or CPF’s (Close Personal Friends).”

But I am not going to treat them any differently than any other patient. That means I am doing something inadequate for everybody else I see? I don’t think so- or at least I hope not.

When I am the patient, I want my Doctor to treat me exactly the way they treat everybody else. You start doing things differently from the way you always do it, that’s when things go wrong!

Story. My wife had a tonsillectomy when I was a resident ( we both worked at that hospital) and in the recovery room many friends came in to check on her. Several of them were anesthesiologists and said to her “ Are you having pain? Here -let me get you some morphine.” She got groggier and groggier and I said “We have got to get you out of here before somebody kills you with all this kindness”

There is an old axiom that “Bad things happen to Doctors, Doctor’s wives and nurses.” And VIPs. Don’t treat them differently. Don’t do it.

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