I got another one of those requests the other day that make me completely insane. “Wet reading. Male with severe headache. Please call XXX-XXX-XXXX.” Turns out the headache was 2 weeks ago. After a day of serious drinking, and too little food, and too little sleep. Hmmmm, wonder what that’s about? Scan was ordered, and patient didn’t show for first scheduled time of exam. Was busy. Hey, he works on Wall Street, and someone has to be there.
So, here I am with an early read at 6:15 PM, and a patient who is impatient to get out of there. Can’t let him go until we reach the doc. Very specific note. I called the number. Voice mail. I listened to the voice mail. Advised me to 1) go to ED, 2) call in the morning, or 3) stay on the line for the answering service. Okay. Option #3. Doctor ordering the exam was not on. Being covered by a PA. PA didn’t know patient. “It’s normal?” Yes. “So, why are you calling?” Rrrrrrrrrrrr….
What’s the most ridiculous “early read” request you’ve had? Winner will be least appropriate exam, most ridiculous low-yield study, crappy indication, and impossible-to-reach ordering physician. If someone was asked to do a stat 4 view skull film series for a patient with possible Marchiafava-Bignami disease, and the clinician was in the Galapagos in a single-man scull, you are the winner by default. I’ll decide a winner by careful review of submissions. And a flip of a coin.