Industry Update
Opinion Article20 November 2020

A Big Tipper - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

By Mike Oppenheim, MD

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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.


"I'm here to see the gentleman in 499," I informed the concierge. "Is there anything I should know?"

She made a show of checking her computer. "That would be Prince Mamoud. He's been asking for a doctor. Repeatedly. The consulate had your number."

Concealing my pleasure at that news, I thanked her and headed for the elevator. 499 stood at the end of the hall, the largest suite on the floor. Its door stood open. Knocking and then pushing it further, I encountered the smell of alcohol, never a good sign when the patient is Moslem. No one was in sight, but a doorway led to the bedroom and the prince, a small figure in a huge bed, covers drawn up to his chin. Balding and past forty, his disheveled hair was the single unkempt feature, and a goatee the only evidence of his foreignness

"Pain. Terrible pain," he announced loudly.

"Where is the pain, Mr. Mamoud?"

"Kidney. I have kidney stones in my kidney." He threw the covers to one side and pointed to his right flank. "My doctor prescribes Dihydroco, but I have no more."

"That's not a drug I'm familiar with."

"It is from London. I live in London."

"Do you just need a prescription?"

"Also a shot. The pain is unbearable."

Mike Oppenheim

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