What a week it has been in Madison Wisconsin, of all places. First we have teachers roaming the capital petitioning the government for redress of grievances. Not so bad, until they call in sick, en masse, and bring their students with them as political pawns. Then we have the duly elected State Senators abdicating their sworn obligation to represent the people of Wisconsin in the state senate and literally running away to the Tilted Kilt. Now we have "Doctors" giving out sick notes like they hand out flyers in New York's Times Square.
Being sick of the Wisconsin Governor is not billable code as far as Medicare is concerned and daring an interviewer to get in the middle of a private consultation between a patient and caregiver in the middle of thousands of people is not what is meant by bedside manner. What a joke. All this professionalism is making me sick!
Don't get me wrong, I have written my fair share of sick notes, but these were for people who were, you know, sick. As a Hospitalist (if you want to know, ask Happy), I only treat patients that have been admitted to the hospital, so I shouldn't question the integrity of the Family Practice Docs who are supremely capable of making such judgements on the fly. You see, I actually see my patients, objectively evaluate their medical situation and make a decision. Of course, I take my job very seriously and wouldn't presume that "stress" is a reasonable diagnosis. Unless, of course it was manifested by pseudoseizure or conversion disorder in which case it is serious business.
This brings me to Dr. Lou Sanner. He is a family practitioner whose ego, no doubt, precedes his intellect. I have seen his type before as I meandered through medical school and residency. He is the doc who looks down his nose at you as you struggle for the esoteric answer to some zebra diagnosis, all the while pretending to know the answer himself. Well, I am not a resident anymore and what this fellow has done is professionally obscene. He has abrogated his professional responsibility for political expediency.
Don't believe me? Take his own words into account. From the AP and USA Today, respectively:
"Doctors from numerous hospitals set up a station near the Capitol to provide notes covering public employees' absences. Family physician Lou Sanner, 59, of Madison, said he had given out hundreds of notes. Many of the people he spoke with seemed to be suffering from stress, he said."
"What employers have a right to know is if the patient was assessed by a duly licensed physician about time off of work," Sanner said. "Employers don't have a right to know the nature of that conversation or the nature of that illness. So it's as valid as every other work note that I've written for the last 30 years."
Here is the good doctor in action...
Now I don't know the legality of his actions, although I am sure that the Wisconsin Medical Society may have some thoughts on the matter.
Is it really his position that he is conducting medical examinations in the midst of thousands of people while attaining a right to privacy? One of the most important things in a genuine patient/physician interaction is honesty and this dude is dishonest!
He and his colleagues, Hannah Keevil, and James Shropshire should know better. Undoubtedly they do know better, but let political emotion trump professional integrity.
Update: I think I found another "physicina" and from the video it would seem that there were nearly a dozen of there. In this case it seems to be Dr. Patrick McKenna who is freely giving out notes for activitis. Fortunately, for him he is a 3rd year resident!
Update 2: Let the mocking commence, Breitbart edition...
Update 3: More video leaking out and it isn't getting better. Doctors hiding behind privacy privilege? From top to bottom, this is an abuse of the system. Unfortunately, I can't identify this character, but I have some thoughts...
Thanks to Ann Althouse for her on the ground reporting.
Instalanche, thanks Professor! While you are here, look around. You might find we have a lot to say!
PJ Tattler offers their link, thanks...
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