The devil is the detail people - II

Friday, July 01, 2011

The devil is the detail people - II

Being a conclusion of Part the First.

This week's episode of "The Big C," "Losing Patients," perfectly demonstrates how ubiq­uitous, and insidious, are the "drug reps" of today.

Our protagonist, portrayed by delightful Laura Liney, is a Stage 4 melanoma patient exasper­ated at not even getting a return call from the specialist with whom she's trying to get an appointment.

Without any explanatory dialogue, she dresses as a business woman, borrows a wheeled travel bag and has no problem gaining access to the medical practice's inner offices... she's not even questioned, just given the run of the place as she tries to confront the doctor!

That is how just pervasive detail men/women are in today's medical professional work place!

They don't even have to wait for a doctor's spare moment... they have "access," a very powerful word today.

I learned first hand this week just how much access drug reps have during an appointment at Stony Brook Ophthalmology which had been made more than a month ago.

After the usual wait in the outer waiting room, examination by a Physician's Assistant and ap­plication of eye drops, a longer wait in an in­ternal waiting room while the desired dilation occurred, the doctor arrived to take me to the laser procedure room.


As we stepped into the hall, a pair of drug reps were waiting to speak with him.

He tried to beg off and tell them this was "not a good time," but they were aggressive and persistent.

The doctor visibly shrunk, and motioned me to another room ten feet away.

By the time I'd gotten there I was in full cold fury mode, and expressed myself quite directly on this point to the PA as she came to escort me to the correct room.

(Distracted by the intruders, the doctor had sent me to another examination room instead of the one which was outfitted with the laser equipment.)

The ophthalmologist and the two drug reps with still in the hall, while the plus-size female of the pair was in full pitch mode.

As we passed them, without slowing down I leaned in so that my face was less than a foot from hers and emitted the loudest, most in­tense "hissss" and focused I could muster.

Fortunately for her, it was a "dry" one, but the effect was most gratifying!

So intent on delivering her corporate message (on my dime) that she had never noticed me coming, so her startle reflex was a tad slow!

But it came! O, yes, it was most gratifying... she jumped then recoiled in confusion as I continued walking behind the PA.

(If anything was said, I missed it.)

As I settled in the "laser chair" I asked the PA "How are they allowed access like that?" but she couldn't answer.

After the delayed procedure was completed, I asked the doctor the same question.

"They provide us with information and samples to give to you to take home," he said without much conviction.

I like the Doctor... he's performed two lens re­placements and the near obligatory 16 month "clean-up" procedure on me, and shown me a great kindness at one point along the way.

So I decided to not point to the little 11" X 8½" sign taped to the walls of all the rooms in Stony Brook Ophthalmology:

Effective July 1, 2009, No Samples Can Be Provided Patients

When I get a medical appointment, especially those which have been difficult to schedule, I want that doctor's undivided at­tention for the entire time I'm there.

I don't think it's an unreasonable expectation.

And those omnipresent "detail" people in the nefarious employ of "Big Pharma?"

The devil with them!


1. Jim Cordo said...

Bravo! I would give a lot to see that woman's face when you hisssssssss'd her. You're not exactly a pussy cat. lol

I'm not?

2. Crabby said...

Ppsst. Hey Speir! Good one. I would have paid to see that, too.

Pull it on Joan of Arrrrggghhhh next time you two occupy the same real estate.

If we'd've thought it would work, a whole slew of us would have already started doing it years ago!

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