Industry Update
Opinion Article 7 July 2020

Long Time No See - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

By Mike Oppenheim, MD

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Oppenheim

"Hey, Doctor! It's been a while."

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I love it when parking valets recognize me. That was the good news. The 'it's been a while' was not so good. This was my first visit of the year to Le Parc, an upscale West Hollywood hotel. It was once a regular, calling 20 to 40 times per year since 1993.

Hotel doctoring is viciously competitive, and another doctor had worked his magic, reducing calls to one or two per year. Hope springs eternal; hotels occasionally realize their mistake and return to the fold. Maybe this was a sign.

The guest had injured her leg five days earlier. The doctor had found nothing seriously wrong, but her pain persisted, and I was there because the guest had informed the hotel that she didn't want the same doctor. I called an orthopedist who agreed to see her in the office that day.

"Doctor O! How's business!" The desk clerk also recognized me. When I ask why a hotel has stopped calling, employees always respond that no one has been sick, so I've stopped asking. But I couldn't resist. The desk clerk assured me that no one had been sick.

"Long time, no see," said a parking valet, not the same one who greeted my arrival. When I responded that hotel doctoring is a dog-eat-dog business, he laughed.

Mike Oppenheim

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