By Doctor Curmudgeon®


How could this be?

I took this stupid test that I had to take for ICD-10…and I flunked!

Doctor Curmudgeon® does not flunk exams.

Maybe she doesn’t always get an “A.”

But she always passes. Always.

Well, you didn’t pass, was the little note on the stupid thing sent to my email.

I wrote back “Why didn’t I pass?

“You didn’t specify location.”

“I said right elbow.”

“But you didn’t specify more exactly,” fired back the ICD-10 guru.

“How much more exactly (SERMOANS, excuse the poor grammar, but I don’t care) the elbow in the middle of her forehead or the one poking out of her left hip?”

“Doctor, please, your sarcasm is not acceptable here, we are trying to help you.”

Right, I thought.  ICD-10 is helpful.

To whom, I wonder.

Not to doctors.

Not to patients.

What a waste of time.  One and one-half hours watching a ridiculous webinar.

Now, an exam that I have to pass. Why waste my time with M codes and R codes and other indigestible stuff?

Another email,“And you didn’t specify the location.”

“You already said that,” I responded

“We meant the location in which the injury occurred. This is necessary for you to be paid.”

I fired back, “She fell off a swing.”

Yet another email, “That is very good, Doctor Curmudgeon.  Please remember that we, your billing people, did not create ICD-10.  But it is here, and we are trying to educate you with webinars and tests …”

I thought I was finished, but there was the ping of another dreaded email

More comments on that one diagnosis.

“What was the maximum height the swing attained?

“Was this her first encounter with that specific swing?

“Had the swing been painted?

“If so, what color?

“What kind of shoes was she wearing?”

“In a dress, jeans or slacks?”

Reaching into my desk, I grabbed the rest of my chocolate, smashed it up and covered the screen.

“ICD-10 Leave me alone!” I shouted.

Sitting back, I thought: “That’s it!  I’m not doing this…”

“ICD-11 XP will soon be here.  I’ll wait for that.”

Doctor Curmudgeon® is a physician-satirist and often hides behind Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D. FAAFP, a writer/physician.  This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors – the virtual doctors’ lounge and the home of medical crowdsourcing.


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Bitter Medicine: A Doctor’s Year in Viet Nam
by Eugene H. Eisman

These are true stories gleaned from the author’s experience as a physician in Vietnam. It is a mixture of humor and pathos.

Dr. Eugene H. Eisman, earned his MD at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He served two years in the army. Six months was served in Pleiku, and six months in Cam Rahn. He now lives in Miami Florida.