Making a mountain out of a molar

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MAKING A MOUNTAIN OUT OF A MOLAR

I was working nightshift at the hospital when a patient came into the Emergency Room complaining of a toothache. She was perfectly pleasant despite her pain, and she wasn’t kicking up too much of a fuss. It was obvious from this that while she was clearly experiencing discomfort, it was nowhere near a 10 on the pain scale. In fact, she herself rated it as a 5.

The doctor accommodated her by giving her some dilaudid, as well as giving her a prescription for some heavy-duty painkillers. I was a bit taken aback by his response, because it was just a toothache and not even a severe one at that. So, I asked the doctor why he was treating it with such a potent mix of painkillers. The doctor shrugged, saying “My Press Ganey scores were pretty low last month, I could use a little boost”.

 

I rolled my eyes, because it’s not the first time I have seen a doctor pressured into over-prescribing medications, or ordering unnecessary tests for someone just to try and boost their Press Ganey scores. It can be unbearably frustrating to watch medical professionals bow to silly comments on customer surveys, and respond to it with a heavy and inconsistent hand. It’s basically like a restaurant getting a poor Yelp review and responding by giving every single customer thereafter a free meal and cocktails. Except much, much more expensive. 

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