Tuesday, May 27, 2014

CEO of Important Things

My boss suggested we have business cards made and hand them out to our patients before they leave...because the fact that we work in an Emergency Department and are only available, you know, around the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week means that we should make it even easier for our patients to remember and contact us.  He felt it would be good for public relations.

 "Hi!  So glad I just met you three hours ago and had to be the one to tell you that you have cancer.  If you have any questions or want to have lunch, just give my number a call."

Hand over business card.

"So it looks like you are having a heart attack and we need to fly you to the nearest cath lab.  By the way, here's my business card.  If you make it, give me a call."

Hand over business card.

"No I am not giving you narcotics for your back injury that you've received opiates for from thirteen other providers all over the state or your dental pain that you come in twice a week for.  Here's my card, just in case you want to remember who is cutting you off."

Have over business card.

And then what do we put on the card?  I'm only in the department 10 days a month.  I don't have an outside practice.  Should I give them my cell phone number in case they want to get a hold of me sooner?  Or the automated hospital number that when they call they will be told "We can't give advice over the phone.  If you feel worse we recommend you come back or see your own doctor."

So as you can see...I'm totally not getting it.  Should I be handing these things out at conferences?  No one has ever handed me one at a medical conference...???

But in the spirit of, um, what's the word for "well, let's give it a try at least once" I put together a business card:


Slight adjustment for privacy...but there you have it: CEO of Important Things.  This is reflective of how special my job really is and how many things are not important.  When people ask me, "Are you the CEO of the hospital?" I can easily say no and point out that really, the hospital is not important.  If it was, as CEO of Important Things, I would be its CEO also.

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