BLOOMINGTON, IN – Emergency medicine attending, Dr. Howard Rugers, announced his retirement yesterday after failing to find reason for admission for 95-year-old Herschel Levenstein, a resident at a local senior living apartment.
“We hit him early and hard, acute on chronic weakness, altered mental status, the works,” notes Rugers. “We hung up a calendar from the Carter administration and played the ’76 Montreal Olympic Games on his TV. He stayed alert and oriented the whole time. The guy is a rock.”
Jonathan Tanner, a medical statistician at Loyola University, explained: “Generally the patient’s age is roughly the percent chance of admission. With Levenstein it should’ve been a slam dunk, a scientific certainty even.” Tanner notes that Rugers’ admission rate has declined sharply ever since his return from a week-long seminar on Press Ganey scoring. “So much of the admission is mental,” says Tanner. “You have to actually believe the words you are writing.”
But some may disagree. “This isn’t my first rodeo with these schmucks,” states Levenstein, whose medical record includes a formidable shutout following the discovery of asymptomatic gallstones on ultrasound. “Two years ago they tried to get me for a fall on Coumadin. Hah! I don’t even take Coumadin.” Levenstein’s record against the ED improves to an impressive 6-0-1, with one overnight in observation.
Rugers boasts a celebrated career as well, having first earned fame as a freshman attending for a daring “unresponsiveness” admission on a woman who was found asleep in bed. “A few years ago I would’ve had this guy in the ICU,” laments Rugers during a press conference where he was accompanied by his wife and two children. “This is a wake-up call that I’ve lost my edge and it’s time to move on. I’m looking forward to the next challenge life has in store for us.”
ED managers say Rugers will be replaced by rookie DO attending Dr. Brian Fielding. When asked, Fielding states, “Levenstein is a tough patient to face in the lineup, but he’s not used to facing DOs and I have a few tricks ready for him.” Fielding declined to comment with many details, but did mention D-dimers and bone scans would likely be part of his strategy.