Non-Clinical Clinical Prognostic Indicators


Good Prognosis:

  • Your doctor hasn’t seen you yet, and you’ve been waiting for (insert average wait time) hours.
  • You’re in a bed in the hallway.
  • Your complaint consists of “months” or “years” of pain/nausea/headache/X Y Z.
  • You’ve come to the emergency department for a second opinion, despite multiple subspecialist evaluations.
  • You answer yes to every symptom the doctor asks you about.
  • You get a blood draw, but no IV.
  • The only medication you’re given is tylenol.
  • Your doctor says the words “probably” and “virus” in the same sentence.
  • You are talking on your cellphone, playing a game, or chit-chatting.
  • You are talking on your cellphone, playing a game, or chit-chatting and the doctor has to ask you to stop.
  • You “just wanted to get it checked out.”
  • Your primary care doctor sighs on the phone when the emergency physician calls him or her.

Bad Prognosis:

  • You get not one, but two IVs.
  • You remark, as my GI bleeder did last night, “Boy, I’ve never been to a hospital so attentive and efficient!”
  • You get your own personal doctor to take you to the CT scanner.
  • Multiple doctors, nurses, and staff greet you in your room.
  • The triage nurse walks you to your room and points at you while speaking to the doctor.
  • You get a room all to yourself.
  • You get a monitor.
  • Your monitor keeps beeping, even though you’re not doing anything.
  • Your doctor keeps checking on you.
  • Your doctor sticks a finger in your bottom.
  • You don’t argue with the doctor about getting this treatment or that one.
  • You are kind, good-natured, and have been a good person in this life.

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  1. #1 by bostonian in ny - October 8th, 2009 at 14:58

    I’d argue that getting a finger in the bottom is somewhat neutral…

  2. #2 by Prunebelly - October 11th, 2009 at 03:15

    “You’re kind, good natured, and have been a good person in this life.” Love it.

  3. #3 by Alexis - October 15th, 2009 at 09:14

    Bad Prognosis:
    1. Your physician cancels the operation at the anesthesiologist’s recommendation.
    2. Your doctor says, ‘ Let me refer you to an excellent physician who is a friend of mine and specializes in your condition’.

  4. #4 by howlindawgs - October 15th, 2009 at 19:38

    Amen to that, especially the original poster’s last 2. I’ve found the amount of complaining and drama is inversely proportional to the severity of the illness.

  5. #5 by Raj - October 16th, 2009 at 13:11

    Agreed .. Nice person = Bad diagnosis

    So sad.

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