Another Wee-Hour Call - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
By Mike Oppenheim, MD
It was midnight when the phone woke me. An Emirate flight attendant at the Hilton in Costa Mesa needed a doctor.
After I'd dressed and filled out the necessary forms, the phone rang again. The Orange County doctor had checked in and wanted to make the visit. Was that OK?...
I'd received a similar call last month while I was already on the freeway. At that time, when the agency announced that the visit was cancelled, I made a fuss, so it promised not to do that again.
Did I want to spend two hours driving plus twenty minutes delivering medical care in the middle of the night? I like to boast that, not having an office, I can sleep late, but I enjoy getting up early to write. In any case, my body automatically awakens at the same time.
Returning to my cozy bed seemed attractive; I gave my consent.
As soon as I hung up, I remembered that the agency pays generously for long drives in the wee hours. That thought gave me a touch of insomnia, so I still passed a sleepy morning.