Author
Author

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 (236)

A Big Tipper - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

Le Meredien on La Cienega has a firm policy against recommending a doctor. This does not mean it never calls, only that a call from Le Meredien means a guest making trouble, and the harassed employee has chosen Doctor Oppenheim as the lesser of two evils, the greater being burdening his boss with the problem.

How Much Does An Emergency Room Cost? - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A lady had been vomiting for three days. She had felt better that morning but then relapsed. She sounded weary.

Losing the Chateau Marmont - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

The Chateau Marmont is a funky art-deco apartment converted to a hotel in the 1930s with nine nearby cottages acquired during the 1940s. John Belushi died in a cottage in 1982, but that was a few years before I became its doctor.

Cheating Medicare - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

Hearing my fee, the guest announced that he was on Medicare. I explained that I am not a Medicare doctor, so he would have to pay me up front. Unlike most elderly callers, he preferred another source of care, so I gave directions to a local clinic.

A Dog-Eat-Dog Business, Part 4 - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

Danielle, chief concierge of the Ritz-Carlton, called me when her allergies were acting up, but this wasn't the reason. It was an awkward situation, she explained, but she hoped I'd understand. A guest has complained, I thought.
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