Doctors get in a rut. They tend to prescribe the same things they always have. When doctors cover for other doctors' patients, it can make life a little interesting at the pharmacy. If you have never prescribed something before, why are you writing for it now? If you are covering for someone and their patient needs a refill, why are you not just prescribing it as it was written previously? And why are you mad at me for inquiring?
1. I ask thanks to this conversation...
Office Person: Why are you calling?
CP: To question the doctor's directions. He wrote insulin for a sliding scale based on the patient's carbs. But he did the calculation wrong. The conversion is not correct based on what the patient used last time.
OP: Well, this doctor doesn't usually write for that. We're just covering for someone so the patient has enough to get her through.
CP: Um. "Just Covering?" Sorry. That's not an excuse. That's like a pharmacist filling in at a store and giving a patient the wrong medication and then answering "Sorry. I'm just a floater." So that makes it A-O-Flipping-K? How about striving to always prescribe it correctly? How about learning about what you're prescribing? How about not getting mad at me for doing my job? A job which not only may save a patient's life, but your doctor's job and your job? How about that?
2. Strength? Bueller?
CP: I am calling to get the strength of a medication. The doctor omitted it when she wrote it today.
OP: Let me check with her.
CP: Fine. I shall hold patiently and anticipate my next comment. It will either be "that's what I thought" or "how can she not know this?"
OP: She said it's for the normal strength.
CP: Great, mystery option #3...It comes in all of these strengths. Each one is abnormal. Please check with her again. Or might it be possible for me to speak with her directly?
OP: Oh no. She is with a patient right now.
CP: Well you go and interrupt her again because I'd like to be the patient in the room where the doctor is continuously bothered because she doesn't know how to prescribe something. That'll instill confidence in me that she has my diagnosis correct.
OP: She want this one. She said she didn't know it came in multiple strengths.
CP: Seriously? That's your answer? You mean to tell me she prescribed a drug she knows nothing about? Why is she prescribing this? Did the drug rep hand her a nice shiny pen? Did she get her prescribing information from the skeleton picture the rep taped to the wall? I bet she gets her prescribing habits like Keyser Soze from The Usual Suspects: She just looks around at the walls and writes whatever she happens to see. Maybe she diagnoses that way too. If she doesn't know about the drug she is writing, what else doesn't she know?
I bet she gave them a coupon too...