A Better Medicine - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
By Mike Oppenheim, MD
A 2 year-old was ill with vomiting, diarrhea, fever, and a rash. That sounded bad.
The guest greeted me at the door with a cheerful toddler at his side. That, to my relief, was the patient. He still had diarrhea, and a spotty rash was present but fading.
Suffering a respiratory infection, the child had seen the family doctor and received the traditional antibiotic. Instead of amoxicillin (the world's most popular antibiotic for people who don't need an antibiotic), he had prescribed Augmentin, excellent when necessary but a legendary stomach upsetter.
The parents took for granted that the solution was a better medicine and something for his rash and diarrhea. But this was one of those situations where stopping everything works best.
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.More from Mike Oppenheim