A Great MasterCard Commercial

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Cost to replace the door that you knocked off the hinges when you fell and hit your head: $127

Cost of bandages your dad used to wrap the laceration to your head when he came home from work: $6.50

Cost of food from the vending machine in the emergency department waiting room: $7

Cost of emergency department visit: $0 (thanks, state “insurance”)

Cost of CT scan that you told the doctor you thought you needed: $0 (you didn’t meet criteria for scanning)

Psych consult to evaluate why you’re giggling when the doctor is examining the cut on your head: $0 (the state cut psychiatric funding so much that we can’t get psych consults any more – but at least you have “insurance”)

Cost of the red magic marker your brother used to draw a fake laceration on your scalp: $1

Watching your dad flip out for having to wait four hours in the emergency department waiting room so that he could be the butt of the practical joke you and your brother played on him, then seeing him slap you in the head so hard that now you probably do need a head CT: PRICELESS



This and all posts about patients may be fictional, may be my experiences, may be submitted by readers for publication here, or may be any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate. If you would like to have a patient story published on WhiteCoat’s Call Room, please e-mail me.


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