Don’t Do Drugs, Hers Specifically

, , , | Healthy Right | November 17, 2018

(I am a medical assistant in a family medicine clinic. We often have difficulty with refills for patients, but this was a memorable one. Note: the patient is elderly so I was trying to be really patient and understanding!)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Clinic]. How may I help you?”

Patient: “I need to find out which medications Dr. [Name] refilled at my last appointment.”

Me: “It looks she filled two: [Medication #1] was sent to your mail order pharmacy, and [Medication #2] was sent to your local pharmacy.”

Patient: “I didn’t need [Medication #1] refilled!”

Me: “I am sorry about that. Which medications are you needing refilled today?”

Patient: “All of them.”

(I start to go through her list.)

Me: “How about [Medication #3]?”

Patient: “I don’t need that one.”

Me: “How about [Medication #4]?”

Patient: “I don’t need that one, either.”

(This repeats several times.)

Patient: “I just need the ones I take regularly.”

Me: “Well, you only have two medications that you take daily, and [Medication #1] was filled last month. Are you needing [Medication #5]? I can refill that for you, though our records show you should have about ten months of refills at your mail order pharmacy.”

Patient: “I don’t know what that is. Just fill all of them for me!”

Me: “I don’t know which ones you are needing; it looks like you have refills on all of your regular medications.”

Patient: “Just ask Dr. [Name]. She’ll know what I need.”

Me: “I have your list in front of me, she won’t know more about what you need refilled than I do.”

Patient: “I’m trying to bake a pie. Just call me when you figure it out.”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m sorry but I don’t know how to help you as I’m not sure what you need.”

Patient: “Fine, I’ll call you back later. Try to figure it out for me.”

(This was one time, that while frustrating, I actually felt really bad that I couldn’t help her! She wasn’t particularly rude, just confused.)

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