I talked to a Colleague from Another Universe

at AAEM the other day. He was a year ahead of me at my residency, and he’s a terrific, personable guy. He also works in Another Universe From Me (koff – Kaiser – koff).

While in the Exhibitors’ Area I ran into my friend, and we discussed our opinions on some things we’d seen: wound cleansing apparati and ultrasound gadgets.

The first sign we were from Alternate Orbits: my question about wound cleaning thingos, the latest-greatest saline-squirters.
Me: this’ll help my techs get wounds cleaner, faster. Wounds are terrifically challenging, and they bill well.
Him: no billing, no collections. Wounds closed by PA’s.

Me: (attempting to recover the awkwardness) We do a decent number of sonos in my ED, mostly FAST scans, the occasional EVUS.
Him: “We’re basically residents. If we had a sono they’d just say ‘do a sono and call us back’, so it’d just increase my work”.

It’s weird to meet people from other worlds. I wish him well, and pray our worlds never collide.


  1. While working in rural Alaska a gentleman came into the ER complaining of severe chest pain. He was having a massive MI. He also had Kaiser insurance. The hospital classified all Kaiser patients as self pay and refused to even bill to them.

    I called Kaiser to inform them that we had one of their patients and I was transferring him to Anchorage for an angiogram/cath/poss CABG.

    Kaiser RN: “How bad a heart attack is it. Can’t you just fly him back to California.”


  2. Doc,

    Can you email me? What is Kaiser? What does it mean? Why is that doc so limited in what he does? Does it make his job better? Are all docs in CA Kaiser? Does Kaiser make people healthier? Do Docs enjoy working with /for Kaiser???

    Just trying to get up to speed on this real world stuff. thanks,