Industry Update
Opinion Article19 January 2021

The No-Housecall Mode - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

By Mike Oppenheim, MD

share this article
1 minComments

Several times per year, a hotel guest suffers a bloody nose. I don't make housecalls for nosebleeds because there's nothing I can do. Treatment is to pinch the nose, releasing pressure every five minutes to check if bleeding has stopped. I tell guests to repeat until they get bored. If bleeding persists, the next step is cautery or nasal packing, both of which require expertise.

I regularly hear "I can move it, so I know it's not broken…" but this is as true as most popular medical theories. Examining a wrist, finger, ankle, foot, or ribs I can suspect a fracture, but I'm never certain. Most common fractures aren't urgent, so I often tell guests it's OK to wait to see if there's quick improvement. If not, they need an X-ray.

Insect bites usually look the same, bee stings included. Redness and itching spread, peaking after a few days before slowly fading. I explain this over the phone, but guests often want me to take a look.

When a guest suggests he has bronchitis, I immediately go into no-housecall mode because this is a fake diagnosis doctors use when they prescribe an antibiotic as a placebo ("sinus infection" and "strep" are also sometime fakes).

Mike Oppenheim

    More from Mike Oppenheim
    Mike Oppenheim
    Latest News