1. "Did you check your porch?" I get about three calls a week from a patient who says (panicked) that their medication never arrived via FedEx. Nine times out of ten - or greater - the package is on the porch where FedEx left it days ago, and our little patient never opened their front door. Do these people all hibernate? And since you knew it was arriving, did you not think to check the porch? You know, the same place they left it the last 18 times you had it shipped?
2. My NPI number. Here's a typical insurance phone call: Automated phone tree asks for NPI. First person to (finally) answer the phone asks for my NPI. They transfer me to second person, who immediately asks for NPI. And then - here is what kills me - they ask for it again, because they missed it. If you ASK me for a number, you had better be ready to type it in. Quit making me repeat myself! I still wonder what the point of keying the number in is, since it never does anything to speed your service.
3. "It's too early to fill." Short answer, addicts: I do not fill narcotics early, end of discussion.
4. "It's too early to fill." I JUST SAID, END OF DISCUSSION! QUIT HOUNDING ME! NO!
5. "Use the keypad." Patients verify their identity by typing in the last four digits of their phone number when checking out prescriptions, much like you would type a PIN in. Easily half my patients attempt to write their number in using the little pen rather than type it using the keys.
6. "I'm sorry, that's not available right now." A good 30 or 40 common drugs are backordered right now because drug (and active ingredient production) companies wised up to the concept of supply and demand. Drugs I need aren't readily available; prices for old, cheap generics have skyrocketed. Doxycycline that used to cost $12 for a bottle of 1000 is now over a thousand dollars.
7. "Yes, you were given a Tulane DEA number when you became a resident here." All my newbie interns vehemently insist that they don't have a DEA number. Two things: 1. Yes, you do. You all do. 2. If you don't, what makes you think you get to write controlled substance prescriptions? If you want to argue that you don't have a DEA number, have fun writing for ibuprofen.
8. "Sure, I'll hold." With the insurance. With doctors who decided to do something else while calling me. With patients who call and forget why they called. With family members of patients who called and don't know what medications the patient needs. With FedEx. With Medicare. With wholesalers. With my own company.
9. "It will say, 'Now ready' when your prescription is ready." I say this every time someone drops off an rx. The helpful TV screen outside the pharmacy pops their first name up as soon as they drop off. First it says "In progress", and then it switches to "Now ready" when it's done. Every single patient, no matter how many times they've been there, rushes in after 2.4 seconds to shout excitedly, "I saw my name up there!" And then I repeat...it will say 'now ready'... ad nauseum.
10. "I'm sorry, it has to be a legal state or federal ID." I cannot accept your photocopy of your phone bill as ID. I can't accept your bus pass. Your gambling punch card is impressive, but it's not ID. It's the law in this state, and I am not going to make an exception for you, your Percocet, and your student ID from Delgado 1998. WHY THE HECK DO YOU NOT HAVE AN ID ANYWAY?!