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CHARLOTTE, NC – An urgent care clinic in Charlotte is the talk of the industry after piloting a new program meant to lower costs and increase patient efficiency.  A trained monkey, Giggles, was recently taught how to handle 95% of urgent care business by prescribing Z-Paks and learning how to send patients to the ER.

urgent care monkey
“TIme to pass out those Z-paks”

“Giggles is a smart monkey,” explained his handler.  “He has a knack for knowing which patients need Z-Paks and which ones seem to be above the capability of our clinic to take care of them.”

The way it works is that Giggles will see a patient and walk around him or her a few times.  He may touch the patient’s cheek or jump on the patient’s bed.  After his specialized exam, Giggles will either grab a treat out of his handler’s left hand, signifying that the patient needs a Z-Pak, or his right hand, signifying that the patient needs to go to the ED.

The clinic’s parent corporation, the German company Simians, is excited about the prospect of these clinics taking over the industry.  “The cost savings is enormous,” explained CEO Herr Gerstman.  “We typically pay a physician over $100/hr, but the monkey plus his handler costs us merely $20/hr.  The savings can then be passed on to customers and us.”

Giggles’ girlfriend, Betsy, is also being trained to work registration and collect co-pays.  She has a feisty streak, according to her handler.

“Betsy is great at collecting money but sometimes she can get real upset,” he explained.  “Betsy has been known to fling her excrement at people when they don’t have insurance or if they don’t have cash or a credit card on them.  Once we work out the kinks in her behavior, I think we will implement this idea at registration as well.”

During the transition to full monkey-based care, the clinic still employs PAs or NPs to handle the occasional patient with a Z-Pak allergy or for the times during the day when Giggles’ needs to relieve himself.

If you enjoyed this article, please check out the author’s website First World Emergency Medicine for other great articles.

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Milli of Dilli
After picking up the basics of medicine by watching TV shows, I moved to LA, forged a medical school diploma, and somehow found some success in the late 80’s as an event physician for major Hollywood events. However, it all came crashing down while working the 1990 Grammy awards. While “Girl You Know it’s True” was being played live, a stagehand went into cardiac arrest and I was called upon to help. Unfortunately, as I tried to lip-sync CPR instructions, the speaker on my cassette player stopped working and I was exposed for a fraud. After serving time in prison, I went to medical school and residency and I finished training to become an Emergency Medicine physician. Instead of using this training and knowledge for good, I decided to abuse it to become a professional drug seeker. Armed with advanced medical knowledge, my quest remains to go from ED to ED searching out the drug seeker’s Holy Grail: syringes filled with 1mg of hydromorphone, the so-called “Milli of Dilli.” While I am not drug seeking, I have decided to write medical satire posing as a typical First World emergency physician. My website, with my other satirical articles that did not make it into Gomerblog, can be found at http://www.firstworldem.com and my twitter handle is @firstworldem