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The Next 20 Things Patients Can Do to Stay Away from My ED

Op-Med is a collection of original articles contributed by Doximity members.
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  1. Don’t eat spicy food if you have diarrhea. That’s likely to provide sensations like you’ve never had before. You’re going to feel like a reverse fire-spitting dragon for days. There’s little I can do besides rectal lidocaine, and you’ll hate getting touched. As for the diarrhea: One soft stool doesn’t qualify. Neither do two. Diarrhea is when you run out of toilet paper.
  2. Vaccinate your children. The connection with autism is fake, and the hack who made it up has lost his license. Even if it was true — and it’s not — wouldn’t you rather have an autistic child than a dead one? If you trust Jenny McCarthy more than you trust the whole medical community, consider taking your kids to her when they’re sick.
  3. Use protection equipment. Use the guards of your saw. Use safety glasses when welding. That’s not girly — that’s smart. Unlike lobsters, you don’t regrow limbs, and unlike spiders, you only have two eyes. Use them wisely.
  4. Don’t hold your chainsaw between your legs to start it.
  5. Same with pouring hot coffee. Set the cup on the table. It’ll feel better.
  6. Anger management tip: If you can’t hold it in and you need to act out, punch a pillow — not a wall, not a door, and not a window. It’s better for your hands and easier on your wallet.
  7. Don’t put on mascara while you’re driving. The same goes for contact lenses.
  8. Understand what we do at the ED. Our tests are tailored to detect emergencies. There’s a risk to going to just “get checked out.” If you have a problem that is NOT an emergency, you’re seeing the wrong doctor. Going to an ER doc for a non-emergent problem is like going to a cardiologist for constipation.
  9. Don’t store bleach in soda bottles, and don’t leave them around for the kids to find them. Don’t leave your medications scattered around for your toddler to sample. Have the Poison Control number handy.
  10. Fibromyalgia is seldom lethal for patients, although it kills me.
  11. Get a doctor. He’s better than I am at managing your blood pressure, your diabetes, and your erectile dysfunction. You’ll save time and money. If you come to my ED for a Viagra script, you’ll have to wait. By that time, your love interest may find better alternatives. I don’t have Viagra samples, and you’ll have to convince me that your Viagra script really is an emergency.
  12. Telling me that you really hate doctors won’t help our relationship. What if I told you that I really hate patients? (I don’t). Don’t forget that the EMTs didn’t drag you to my ED, you chose to come.
  13. If you’re into adventure, invest in a cock ring with a release and a butt plug with a wide flange. It’s nicer to get them off in the privacy of your own home than have to come to the ED, although we’d enjoy seeing you!
  14. Being overweight is a problem for all of the US today. It’s bad for your back, your blood pressure, your diabetes, even for your efforts to conceive. We eat too much and we don’t move enough. Remember that, next time you crave a Fudge Sundae. How about an apple and a walk instead? I know, I know, walking is for the dogs. Well, then get one. Pet owners are healthier, happier and have more fun.
  15. If you’re calling to ask how busy we are, you’d probably be OK at home.
  16. Brush your teeth and get a dentist. Teeth are great! They outperform tattoos for eating steak, burgers, and even fries. They improve your smile. They make you look younger. They’re a better investment.
  17. Stop smoking! You won’t set your house on fire. You’ll save money. Your doctor will stop harassing you. You’ll be a good example to your kids. You’ll smell better. You won’t have those radial wrinkles around your mouth that make it look like a purse string.
  18. Don’t lock your kids in the car. Never. Not in summer, not in winter, not on Wednesdays, not for one minute. Find childcare or take them with you. If that sounds silly to you, use birth control.
  19. Store your shampoo bottles on a shelf, not on the floor. They have a tendency to get lodged in the rectum whenever you slip in the shower.
  20. Don’t fry bacon naked. In fact, don’t fry anything naked. Maybe just don’t fry? Grilling is better for you anyhow. But don’t grill naked either!

Thanks to my Facebook friends and to my EM Docs friends for their help. Many of these suggestions came from them. Click here for the first twenty.

Rada Jones, MD, is an Emergency Physician. She practices in Upstate New York where she lives with her husband, Steve, and a deaf black cat named Paxil. She’s finishing her first novel, an ER Thriller where a lot of people die in unnatural but exciting ways and the good guys drink like fishes. Find out more at, instagram RadaJonesMD and twitter @JonesRada.

Would you help me with my book title? Which one would you buy? 1. Overdose, the ER murders. 2. Drugs, deaths and doctors. 3. Let me kill him instead. Thanks!

All opinions published on Op-Med are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of Doximity or its editors. Op-Med is a safe space for free expression and diverse perspectives. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email

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