Privacy For Dummies (Like me).

So, a great benefit of my residency program is that I have 24/7 access to our EMR off campus. Which allows me to work from pretty much anywhere, anytime. Extremely helpful considering that I am working most of the time, wherever I’m at.

One downfall is that no traveling company phone comes along with the anywhere EMR access. And sometimes I have to call a patient from home at 8 o’clock at night, or other “technically off-duty” hours with test results, or instructions, or whathaveyou.

So I have to use my own phone to call, and BINGO, patients got my number. If you don’t mind random phone calls in the middle of the night (On nights when you are actually lucky enough to be in your own bed sleeping, or trying to sleep depending on what kind of shenanigans your idiot upstairs neighbors have planned. Swear to G, last Thursday night, it was Riverdancing. Right above my bedroom. There is no other feasible explanation for mere human beings creating that kind of racket.) asking for a prescription for condoms (This would be funny if I didn’t know for a fact it actually happened to another resident. Wait, no, still kind of funny.), go right ahead and use your own phone.

I know that many residents have used their cellies to call patients and unwittingly (or being much more kind-hearted, and less bear-sow-with-cubs-possessive of their rare, precious Free Time than my own self, wittingly) handed out their personal digits like Halloween candy. To patients who have absolutely no compunctions about calling their physicians, day or night, with any and every twitch, twinge, question, complaint, sign, symptom, Google-induced syndrome, etc that might (or might just theoretically) be causing them a moment of contemplation.

Of course (!), not all patients are like this. But some are, and if you call enough of them from your own phone, you are suddenly on call. All the time. And your rare, precious Free Time ceases to exist. Period.

Naturally, I am writing this post because I am an idiot, I called enough people with my own phone (that I really did have to call and I was no where near a company phone at the time), and I have managed to procure my own 24/7 patient.

[Please note that I absolutely do always provide my patients with other, perfectly acceptable, numbers that they can call 24/7 for whatever may be niggling at their minds and/or bodies because I want them to have access to quality care/advice whenever they may need or want it! That is why God gave us Being On (Real Valid I-am-being-paid-as-a-competent-professional-to-respond-to-every-and-any-call-that-comes-through-here) Call.]

The point of this post is – for any and all fellow Free Time cherishing idiots like me out there – it doesn’t have to be this way. Just dial *67 before you dial the number you don’t want calling you back at will (P.S. This also works for The Exes, and The Other Assorted Please Don’t Call Me Backs, Like Ever TYVM, numbers you might be forced to call for any number of assorted, uncomfortable issues).

Everyone else on Earth probably already knows this.

But in case you’re a ding dong (like me), You’re Welcome.

Of course, this only works in the US as far as I know. Internationally? You're on your own. Suckers.

Of course, this only works in the US as far as I know. Internationally? You’re on your own. Suckers.

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