(Me And The Chief of the Medical Staff at NY Presbyterian)
HIM: How can I help you Dr. Gordon?
ME: It’s how I can help you Eliot.
HIM: Please explain.
ME: I have one word to say to you: JCAHO
HIM: (Nervous) Go on.
ME: My oldest and dearest friend just had surgery and is in your hospital and there are some issues with your nursing staff.
HIM: If this is a nursing issue why aren’t you talking to the nursing office?
ME: Because I learned from Muhammad Ali if you kill the head, the ass will die.
HIM: Interesting way of putting it, but I understand and respect your philosophy.
ME: When I’m done with you I’ll start dealing with the people whose last names end in a vowel. Now just be thankful it’s me on the phone, not JCAHO….YET…
HIM: Well nobody wants that. What are your concerns?
ME: These are my concerns (I list the concerns)
HIM: I see. That’s not good. But there’s no need to call JCAHO. That would be an overreaction.
ME: Correction. That would be disaster for your institution. You know JCAHO. They are just looking for a reason to make a surprise visit.
HIM: You are well aware a complaint such as this generated by a doctor to JCAHO will result in incredible scrutiny.
ME: Yes, I am WELL aware. I am also aware of how that scrutiny will translate into the loss of revenues from federal funding, not to mention the loss of hair from the extra JCAHO site visits.
HIM: Well I’m sure we can resolve this immediately.
ME: Of course you can. You have power… limited… but power.
HIM: (laughs) You know hospital politics VERY well.
ME: Yeah and I’m sorry I had to involve you in this but this is my oldest and dearest friend, so I’m serious as JCAHO finding a nurse giving a doctor a blow job in a sterile quadrant during a PICC line procedure.
HIM: (Laughs) You do have a way words.
ME: I do two things well… and using colorful language is the other one.
HIM: (laughs) So are you based in New York?
ME: No honey, I live in LA. I’m too pretty to live in New York…
HIM: Nice weather, but I’m too manly to live in LA.
ME: Manly huh? Well we should meet in Kansas sometime.
HIM: (laughs) You are quite the character. A most unusual, but effective patient advocate, I must say… And oddly enough what started out to be very uncomfortable and disconcerting turned out to be quite fun and enjoyable.
ME: Honey do you know how many times men like you have said that to me?
HIM: No and that’s information I can live without. Please. (We laugh)….
ME: The next time I’m in New York, I’ll come visit.
HIM: Please do. Now let me go beat up some nurses for you.
ME: Ohhhh…. my hero.