Industry Update
Opinion Article11 February 2019

The Decline of Civilization - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

By Mike Oppenheim, MD

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Oppenheim

The desk clerk tried to hand back my parking slip, but I made no move to accept it.

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"We are unable to validate" she said. "It's twenty dollars. You pay at the cashier's window."

"As I explained, I'm the hotel doctor. They let me park."

"Unfortunately, the hotel doesn't own our parking service, so we have no control over the charges."

"That's true for most hotels, but everyone lets me park."

"Let me speak to my manager."

It was a stretch to call myself that hotel's doctor. The Mondrian was not a regular although I'd been there a dozen times over the years with no problem. Several minutes passed before the clerk returned.

"Regretfully, my manager says we're unable to validate. The hotel doesn't own our parking service, so we have no control over the charges."

Not willing to hassle hotel staff, I took the slip.

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.

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