MINNEAPOLIS, MN – Hospitalists at Minnesota Healthcare suffered one more devastating blow this morning as local veterinarian Tom Anderson turfed yet another animal, this time a German shepherd, to their service, citing a “busy census,” “lack of active veterinary problems,” and muttering something about placement. Hospitalist morale has been driven to a new all-time low.
“I thought it was bad years ago when surgical teams stopped taking primary patients,” said hospitalist Craig Johnson, while milking a cow on rounds. “I’m in shock.”
“This is a whole new kind of BS,” said co-hospitalist Patricia Moran, standing at bedside knee-deep in elk manure. “I mean, look at me!!”
Despite the German shepherd not being an adult or a human or sick, the veterinary team under Anderson insisted the patient no longer belonged on their service and backed up their reasoning with an illogical series of arguments best summed up with the word “No.” This is the latest of 20 animal transfers by Anderson to the hospital medicine service over the past month.
“Look, we’re busy,” said Anderson, writing the “Transfer to Hospital Medicine” order. “Plus, no active issues, he might need placement, and with all these medications and stuff … Don’t you think he’s better served on a medicine service? I do. I certainly do.”
Hospitalist morale was already reeling before the veterinary dump off.
Since the 1990s, primary care providers across the country began slowly shifting inpatient care to hospitalist providers. More recently, a piggyback movement followed involving several fields that also wanted to shift responsibilities towards hospitalists. This includes but is not limited to general surgeons, colorectal surgeons, orthopedic surgeons, thoracic surgeons, vascular surgeons, neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons, ophthalmologists, otolaryngologists, neurologists, dermatologists, rheumatologists, hematologists, oncologists, gastroenterologists, infectious diseases physicians, endocrinologists, pulmonologists, cardiologists, nephrologists, urologists, podiatrists, interventional radiologists, archeologists, janitors, teachers, electricians, mechanics, fast-food workers, toll-booth attendants, and taxi drivers.
Earlier this year in Minneapolis, local pediatricians and geriatricians began deflecting care to Minnesota Healthcare hospitalists, referring to children and geriatric patients as “pre-adults” and “post-adults,” respectively. Obstetrics & gynecology began referring to pregnant patients as “one adult plus one pre-adult.”
Last week, forensics kicked a patient to hospital medicine on the grounds that the patient was merely “post-life” and was “once a living adult,” while cafeteria worker Lily Andrews, who stands behind the sandwich station, also turfed a patient since she was “merely a hungry grown-up.” Andrews added that she can help make sandwich recommendations but it is up to the primary team to implement and build the sandwich.
Anderson and other veterinarians believe hospitalists are exaggerating their workload.
“Quit whining and start working,” added Anderson as he prepped a ferocious man-eating alligator for direct admission.
Yesterday, Minnesota Healthcare CEO Ronald Jensen made a brief statement regarding the state of hospital medicine affairs: “Me like pets.”
Johnson disagrees with his veterinary colleagues and CEO. According to Johnson, his current hospital medicine patient census includes 8 surgical patients, 6 non-surgical subspecialty patients, 4 goats, 3 king cobras, 2 parrots, 1 dead patient from gross anatomy lab, a beluga whale, cow, parrot, and manatee. Minus one kangaroo that left against medical advice.
Plus one German shepherd.