NEW YORK, NY – Internal medicine physician Damien Sharp won the medical equivalent of a lottery jackpot today: his patient list is completely devoid of jerks and a**holes, a rare occurrence with an estimated frequency of only 1 in 14,836,281.
“Every single patient was super nice, reasonable, and just a pleasure to take care of, it was so strange,” said Sharp in a euphoric daze. “I got to my last patient, who was also incredibly sweet, and when I walked out, I just screamed ‘JACKPOT!’ at the top of my lungs! I couldn’t believe it! I still can’t believe it.” He paused, choked up. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this: I actually like all of my patients!”
Jarring words indeed.
“This just doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t,” explained Dr. Tom Frieden, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Since 2000, we’ve seen an explosion of difficult patients, known within the medical community as the FML epidemic. To get through a work day without any jerks on your service? It just doesn’t happen. They’re just so many of them out there. Bitches too.”
A poll conducted by the CDC earlier this month showed that health care providers estimate 1 in every 1.2 patients is a jerk, a**hole, difficult, or batsh*t crazy. And many think that’s a very conservative estimate considering the methods required to counteract these difficult patients over the years: serum a**hole tests, “pain in the a**” wristbands, a**hole precautions, and the hiring of Ronda Rousey.
It’s no reason that Sharp found today’s rounding experience so refreshing.
“All these patients were smiling, asking me how I was doing, saying ‘Thank you’ and being respectful to nurses, techs, everyone… They were reasonable, it was truly astounding,” continued Sharp. “No poop thrown at me, no one cursing, and no one demanding for narcotics. Usually I have to mentally prepare for at least one challenging confrontation each day.” He paused and smiled. “But this list? Not a single one is on IV narcotics. What is that about?! I might even round on them again!”
Friends and colleagues insist that Sharp buy a lottery ticket or quit while he experiences the absolute high of medical care. Fellow internal medicine colleague Josephine Okunne put it best, as she flips through her patient list and sighs: “That Sharp is such a lucky bastard!”