Sometimes, as a medical professional, you just need a good laugh to get through the day.
In honor of all of the face-palm moments and sighs of exacerbation, we want you to know that we are with you.
We salute your efforts to make the world a healthier place. Check out these 10 memes that will make you chuckle at what life throws at you.
1 Patients Being Doctors
Alright, get ready to judge.
One of the biggest enemies of healthcare is, surprisingly, health information accessibility. I know, an increase in available information should make people more informed, right?
Sure, a lot of the disease information out there is factual, but most patients do not possess the expertise or experience to interpret their symptoms correctly. Also, online symptom checkers are often wrong.
So your patient might think they have Progeria, and you’re left with the uncomfortable task of telling them they’re just getting old in real life.
The struggle is real, folks.
2 Proliferation of General Quackery
“My neighbor’s uncle told me if I open antihistamine pills, mix the powder in water, and put it in my eyes, it will make them less itchy.”
That’s a real-life statement from when I worked in the pharmaceutical industry years ago.
This is a perfect example of how a little bit of information can be worse than none when it comes to medicine.
Yes, antihistamines can relieve itching… but to make your own eye drops at home is not only wrong, it’s dangerous.
Physicians or pharmacists are left telling the patient that they have the general idea right, but their self-medication plans are flawed and potentially harmful to their health.
3 Broken Promises
Research conducted by RAND Corp. found that many physicians were “displeased with their EHR’s usability, time-consuming data-entry, interference with face-to-face patient care, inefficient and less-fulfilling work content, inability to exchange health information, and degradation of clinical documentation.”
According to Dr. Robert Wachter, a professor of medicine at University of California, “A similar RAND study conducted in 2005 predicted health IT would save upwards of $80 billion a year,” he recalls. “But those savings have been elusive. When you look at studies that ask whether computerization has saved money, the answer mostly is no. And most doctors will tell you they’ve become less efficient in their practice since adopting EHRs.”
4 The Data Entry Dirge
Quick, what color are your patient’s eyes?
When’s the last time you could look up from your EHR data-entry screen and really look at your patient?
You know you want to. You are a doctor, after all.
“I saw patients all morning, and some were fairly complicated, and with an EHR there’s no time to do your full charting when you’re in the room,” Dr. Jeffrey Pearson, a family physician in San Diego, says. “All the patients get backed up if you do. So I’ll probably take two or three hours at home to get caught up on charting, and that certainly isn’t reimbursed.”
Fortunately, the EHR industry is moving faster than ever towards a streamlined data-entry system that allows doctors to spend some quality one-on-one time with their patients.
5 Patient Scheduling Woes
“I’ll probably be five minutes late,” says the patient.
We all know that means ten minutes or more. Get real.
The bigger issue here, besides an inconsiderate patient, is when a patient forgets they have an appointment at all because they didn’t get a reminder. Several malpractice issues arise when you turn late patients away, and patients don’t get the healthcare they need when you don’t see them.
So, what’s the solution?
Better appointment scheduling systems to improve patient flow.
Studies found automated appointment reminders and alerts can reduce no-shows by as much as 36%. There are even free scheduling options that can keep the wayward patient on track and (hopefully) on-time.
6 “I’m sorry…. Who is this?”
It’s in a patient’s best interest to be seen at least yearly for a physical, perhaps more often if they are on maintenance medications for a chronic condition.
But when you try to get them to come into the office to verify their prescriptions are still the right dosage for them, or if they even still need a drug?
Suddenly… you’re a boogie man.
How do you combat this? Wellness checks and chronic care management calls.
7 What if I told you…
Why does every sick person think they need antibiotics?
I can’t tell you how many times I had a patient walk into the pharmacy with a prescription for antibiotics when they had the flu. Refer to meme #2 and insert hair pulling.
I can only imagine how difficult it is to get a patient out of the office when they are sick and wanting a “comfort” prescription. How many patients stare at you, mouth-agape, when you tell them “you’ll get better on your own”?
I’m sure Morpheus had an easier time getting Neo to take the red pill.
8 Pick. Up. The. Phone.
One of the “best” parts of the day when you are a medical professional is trying to get another medical professional on the phone.
Note my sarcasm.
Wouldn’t it be easier if we could just text each other to ask if a dose is correct? If the labs are correct?
Hopefully, with the changes in EHR requirements and the call for interoperability, we’ll be able to safely shoot each other an email rather than listening to that “awesome” waiting music for ten minutes.
Again, with the sarcasm.
9 Doctors AND Patients In The Waiting Room
In 2015, WBUR in Boston interviewed Dr. Steven J. Stack, then-president of the American Medical Association. In his dialog, Dr. Stack put forth the following assessment of the state of the EHR-Physician relationship: “Imagine, in a world where a two-year-old can operate an iPhone, you have graduate-educated physicians brought to their knees by electronic health records.”
Dr. John Rogers says “Too often I pull up a record, either in peer review or another setting, and it’s almost impossible to really get an understanding of the story line. On a daily basis I can’t find the information, particularly nurses’ notes and things like that that are really valuable to me. In a sense it’s turned us into data-entry clerks. Communication with patients is not only suffering, but communication with nursing and others, as well. It breaks down, we all communicate now just by what goes into that electronic record.”
With any luck this will get better soon with the ending of Meaningful Use and the movement towards a unified EHR dashboard for physicians everywhere. Until then, physicians are left waiting for their current EHR software to show their patient’s histories in their full glory.
10 Better Have My Money
Finally, the funniest part of being a doctor in the US:
What? Not funny? Too soon?
We all know that there are changes to chronic care management (ccm) requirements that allow us to bill for checking up on chronically ill patients by phone. Pharmacies take advantage of this and so do doctors.
Managed care has the potential to provide a vast amount of funds for medical offices
The problem is getting Medicare to pay you for your previously uncompensated work in a timely manner and navigating the complex, tempestuous waters of Medicare billing and reimbursement.
Good luck sailing the seas strewn with CMS requirement reefs.
Other Medical Professional Memes That Make You Giggle
Do you have any other medical memes that you think practitioners would get a good laugh from? Post them in the comments below.