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Mike Oppenheim

MD

Mike Oppenheim

In his regular column "The Life of a Hotel Doctor", Mike Oppenheim shares remarkable stories around visiting hotel guests as a doctor. When he began as a hotel doctor during the 1980s, only luxury hotels had a “house doctor,” usually a local practitioner who did it as a sideline. Nowadays, in a large city even the lowliest motel receives blandishments from a dozen individuals plus several agencies that send moonlighting doctors if they can find one. “Hotel” doctors often acquire hotels by dropping by to extol their virtues to front desk personnel, perhaps with the promise of a tip.

Insights by Mike Oppenheim (249)

Listomania - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

I once made sixty to eighty visits per year to the Crowne Plaza at the airport. Then they dropped to about five.

Good News, Usually - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A flight attendant with diarrhea is usually good news. Airline crew are young, so they suffer uncomplicated medical problems, and diarrhea qualifies. Her hotel in Costa Mesa was 46 miles away, but it was Saturday morning, so traffic would be light, and I'm paid extra for the distance.

Another Glamorous Film Shoot - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

"We're at 501 West Olympic," explained my caller. "Come up to the seventeenth floor."

A Bilingual Doctor at Midnight - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A guest wanted a doctor who spoke French. "I don't speak French, and it's midnight," I pointed out. "You won't find a bilingual doctor to make a housecall at this hour."

I Save Another Life - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

The phone rang at 5 a.m. but I am an early riser. April Travel Insurance told me of a lady with a cough at the Residence Inn in Manhattan Beach. Vacationers hate to get sick, so even a bad cold produces wee-hour calls.
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