Dilemma Dimella

Early this month I’ve decided to list all the things I needed to renew, and before I knew it was staring at a very long, infuriating list. Government ID’s, accreditations, car registrations, insurances, taxes, etc. It’s enough to drive somebody who doesn’t know anything about living, ie me, bonkers. But eventually I was able to slowly tick off the boxes. Last week I was able to drag myself to PDEA QC to have my S2 license renewed. This is the license needed to prescribe restricted drugs like morphine and oxycodone, and mine would be expiring in a couple of weeks.

The renewal process was actually made online–I only had to email my PRC ID, drug test results, and other requirements, and I got feedback after a few days that my renewal has been approved. I had to go to PDEA, however, to personally pay to the cashier. There was a suggestion form to fill-up at the exit, and the suggestion of the doctor who was huffing and puffing with me: for the building to have a blasted elevator, or for the cashier to be re-located to the first floor from the third (there were probably 3 flights per floor). My suggestion was the most obvious one: G-cash. It only took me five minutes for the whole process, and I had already cancelled my clinics that afternoon. I decided to meet up with Smoketh.

We had lunch in Amici in Ayala Technohub. Smoketh updated me on the goings-on in her life, which, as usual, almost made my eyeballs pop out of their sockets. This blog has essentially been Smoketh’s biography. If she decides to reclaim all the rights to her stories or order me to stop publishing them, this blog will die.

The three-cheese pizza and spaghetti were great. There were no customers in the nearby Cafe Breton, so we lounged around for a few hours and feasted on calorrific crepes and Cafe Lejiew… Legeiw… Lejou. Intermittently we would have our necessary cellphone breaks to answer referrals or patients’ messages.

Not a big crepe fan in general, but the signature plate is fantastic.

I asked Smoketh for advice re professional fees: the economy and the COVID risks have led most of our contemporaries to raise their professional fees, and I feel like I also have to follow suit, my fees having been in status quo since 2013, inflation rates and all. But, the patients are suffering from this economy even more, so raising our fees might lead to guilt and insomnia. And now that we are mostly doing teleconsults, we have more insight on how they live.

“I could see in the background… a very dirty cabinet, and there were broken Monobloc chairs… and the house does not have a proper ceiling, only iron sheets,” I said. “So I think I should automatically give this patient a discount based on how her house looks like!”

“You can’t judge a person by what is visible on the Messenger video screen,” Smoketh said. “Do you think they judge how competent you are based on those 90’s glow-in-the-dark stars taped on the ceiling of your room, and that huge home-made X-Files collage prominently displayed behind you?”

Touche. I charged the patient a regular fee, and got paid without incident.

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