The online ratings services Zagat's and Angie's List are popular. They allow consumers to rate the service of restaurants, plumbers and much more. They've just added medical care to their list, so the complaints are rolling in against the medical profession like, well, like cash into medical coffers -- and doctors have dropped their grapes, thrown on their togas and descended from Mount Olympus faster than you can say "bend over and relax."
Yes, doctors are mad and they're not going to take it anymore when they get back from their three-week cruise. They've vowed to double the current wait times for their beneficence (OK, that's not technically true -- yet). But this is true. Some of them are making patients sign waivers to promise not to say anything negative about them on the Internet.
Yes, you read that right. The priss-pusses who speak and write English as a foreign language (or no language at all) and forgot to tell time the minute they ascended the marble thrown at medical school and cross out the name "Jesus" in the Bibles they don't read and put their own name in Jesus' place had not dare to hear negative chatter from the hoi polloi whom the Jesuses deign to see.
The clever fellow who thought up the waiver idea (he's a doctor, so "guy" is out) is a certain Jeffrey Segal, an N.C. neurosurgeon. He's helping doctors find the rascals who betray their saviors and to purge their comments. Mr. Segal (I save "Dr." for my computer geek guys who always fix my computer, don't charge much, never make me wait and are cool as shit) says that sniping postings say nothing about what should matter to patients: medical skills. Gotta love it when doctors tell us what should matter to us. Uhm, Mr. Segal, most restaurants know how to make a burger fairly well and most doctors know their medical shit pretty well, so it's the SERVICE SERVICE SERVICE SERVICE that matters, you snooty bitch!
Almost 2,000 doctors have signed up for one of the waivers from Mr. Segal's ironically named company: Medical Justice. But there's good news from the rebellious online universe. The ratings services are telling doctors to go to hell when the doctors contact them and notify the services that a certain complaint came from a patient who had signed the waiver. Hopefully, the online service folks are making the doctors wait 1 hour and 10 minutes before getting through on the phone.
But let's go one further here, folks. If your doctor wants you to sign a waiver, tell him to stick his EpiPen where the sun don't shine, and then do your best Liza Minnelli drama exit from the building. And then go tell anyone else about the doctor's waiver requirements and post it to as many places as you can. Any doctor worried about patients' comments is a doctor that ain't worthy of his cross. (What great irony, indeed, it would be to see doctors losing their practice because their demand for waivers was the biggest complaint on the online services.)
If your doctor calls you to complain, just tell him to take a deep breath and bend over and relax.