So a few months back I got into a bit of a Pharmacist vs Doctor war (I think it was involving drugbuyers.com, narcotics, and the bit). I wrote a very heated response to a hate-mail that I got, and never published it hoping that the whole situation would just die (which it did). Yanno, taking the high road, etc.
Since I just got back from vacation, the angry-pumps arent quite primed for a new entry, so you get one that I wrote when that stuff was going on (but I didnt publish it).
Oh, as before, I am /not/ anti-doctor (a bunch of my friends are very nice doctors). However what I say below is how I feel on most issues when doctors get uppity. Lets not start another war here. Its sad that I have to put a disclaimer as to not to piss off a bunch of my MD readers.. bleh!
There are many differences between pharmacists and physicians: your post
and your comments highlight the big ones.
Physicians work as hard as they can to not judge our patients based on
race, income, gender, sexual orientation or sexual preferences. We learn
NOT to make rash assumptions. We know that the superficial appearance
doesn’t always tell the whole story.
We dont initally judge either. However, since we spend more than 5 mins with these patients more often than once or twice a month, we have a better understanding as to who they are. Regardless on how they look when they walk in the door, I treat them with the same respect and kindness I do everyone else who walks in. However after the 5th phone call in 2 days asking if their Vicodin is due yet, I tend to get a bit irritated and annoyed. You have a front-end staff to deal with that crap, I dont. They can just walk in and start yelling anytime they want. I dont have the luxury of setting appointments.
You’ve now gone and made pharmacists look like every other whiny, catty,
self-rightous, ignorant retail clerk. Congratulations. The more that the
general public reads work like this, the faster you’ll lose the title of
“Most Trusted Profession”. I’d never set foot in your pharmacy knowing
that you’re review prescription histories and make fun of patients this
Im sorry for reviewing patient histories, I thought that was part of my job. I’m sure the front-end girls in YOUR office have their share of chuckles and eye-rolls when they find out that patient-X is coming in at 2:30 to get his Rx’s refilled. Im sure you yourself have written an Rx or approved an early refill just to get a troublesome patient out of your hair. See, we dont have that luxury. We cant just fill vicodin 4 weeks early just to get them out of the store, its unethical and grounds for having men in suits come and look at our records. We dont have the luxury of setting appointments, or closing for lunch for 2 hours, or taking off at 5pm on friday. We dont have an officestaff to say that you are busy, or with a patient so you dont have to deal with these folk. We take the heat from your patients so you dont have to. We are the last line of defense in preventing truckloads of vicodin and soma and other crap from hitting the streets. I have no problem telling a patient that his pain pills are due on this date. What does the doctor say when the patient bitches to him/her? “Well, I wrote for them, its up to the pharmacist if he wants to fill them”. Not “You’re getting them too early, NO”. So he/she absolved himself of any blame. We’re the bad guy, you’re the good guy. Its hard to be nice when you’re getting lied to by the patients, and used as the scapegoat by the doctor.
So if I look like a “whiny, catty, self-rightous, ignorant retail clerk.” Then you really need to walk out of your little office, with your cushy chair and big computer monitor and start spending more than 5 min with the patients that I see and talk to all month long.
So yes, we still we be the “most trusted profession”, because the people who I poke fun at will just choose another pharmacy in a month. However that 80 year old patient of yours (a patient of mine of over 25 years by the way) who is seeing 4 other specialists (and you all cant be bothered to talk to each other to formulate a drug game-plan) is coming in holding Rx’s for 3 different ACE-I, a few beta-blockers, some warfarin + amioderone, a smile on her face and a story to tell us about what happened at church last week. You paint that picture on why we are trusted and why your patient isnt dead.
Shame on you.
No, shame on you for making a blanket assumption about pharmacists based upon a blog who’s humor obviously eludes you. When is the last time you found out what pharmacy your patients were mostly going to, and paid them a visit to say hi and thanks for all they do? Try it sometime, oh wait, you’re too busy going to free CE dinners by drug reps to learn what new drugs are out rather than reading non-paid-advertisements like us pharmacists do. God knows you arent approving refill requests that have been sitting on your desk for the past month (while I advance the patient some to keep them out of the hospital).