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Author Bio

Mike Oppenheim

MD

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.

Articles by Mike Oppenheim (121)

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - A Dog-Eat-Dog Business, Part 7

When a travel insurer sent me to the Airport Marriott, I remembered that the hotel hadn't called this year, so I decided to reintroduce myself."We don't have a doctor," said the lady in the security office."I've made hundreds of visits.""I never called you," she insisted. She ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - A Glamorous Job

A five-year-old was coughing and congested.His parents were guests at Loews in Hollywood, nine miles away through city streets. Nineteen miles on the freeway would take less time provided traffic moved smoothly, but this was unlikely at 4 p.m. on a Friday. I told the mother ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - Helping a Lady

I finished around midnight. Returning to my car, I passed two young women arguing bitterly on the sidewalk. One insisted on walking to their hotel, the other objected because she was wearing high heels.At my age, no one considers me threatening. As I started the engine, one ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - Why I Like Foreigners

"Do you take Blue Cross?" asked a Biltmore guest after learning my fee. She was 26 years-old and an American.Hearing that she would have to pay up front and submit my invoice, she decided to wait. She was suffering an upset stomach which would probably clear up in a day. I gave ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - Tempting the God of Housecalls

Then my phone buzzed for a housecall. Theaters will refund my money, but I don't ask unless the movie has just begun. Admission is cheap compared to my fee, and I can always return. Half the time, I'm happy to leave. When I go to a live performance, I ask a colleague to cover ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - A Hotel Doctor's Thanksgiving

I had finished breakfast early Thanksgiving morning when the phone rang. A Quantas pilot at the Hilton in Anaheim was suffering a respiratory infection. This was a great call in many ways.The Anaheim Hilton is forty miles away, but I don't mind long drives provided traffic moves ...

We Love to Help You - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A patient once kissed my feet after I removed a speck of dirt from his eye. Removing splinters and earwax also produces excellent feedback. At the other extreme, if I deliver the best medical care for a respiratory infection or sore throat, I'm likely to feel discouraged when ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - My Favorite Infections

That would be urine infections in women, because I quickly make them go away. Handing over a packet of antibiotics, I assure a woman who has been running to the bathroom every half hour that she'll feel better by the next morning. In men, urine infections are usually prostate ...

The Life of a Hotel Doctor - A No-show

When there was no response after my third knock, I experienced a familiar sinking feeling. Under the category "no show," my database reveals 41 entries.I phoned the room, but there was no answer. At the front desk, the clerks assured me that I had the correct number, and that ...

Extremely Easy Housecalls - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A guest at an upscale hotel wanted my services at 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon. I had no plans till dinner. Freeway traffic would be no problem. It was a perfect time for a housecall. What a great job....The desk clerk added that the guest hadn't arrived yet. He would check ...