Office Brain Biopsy

        O.K. the title was just to get your attention.  We don’t have a code for office brain biopsies.  That is good ’cause I have no intention of ever doing one.

        Years ago, though, I coined the term to make a point.  I was cleaning out someone’s  ears and the young lady assistant stood on the other side of the patient.  For reasons I don’t understand, she decided the patients needed to have their head repositioned, and gave it a push in my direction.

        When you have a metal object down in someone’s ear canal it is not a good time to make such a maneuver.  I saw it coming, though, and took the cerumen spoon out pronto.  No harm was done.

        I was not happy.  More impulsive in my youth, I blurted out, “Young lady, this almost wasn’t an ear cleaning, but a brain biopsy!!”

        Of course she broke into tears, and quit in a few weeks.  Since those days, I’ve learned no one wants a smart @^^ for a boss or a doctor, and I’ve mended my ways.

        Nowadays, I would never correct an employee in front of a patient, (I don’t expect them to do that with me) but I still would find a way to tell them not to do that.

        These days, I’d probably pull them off to the side and say, “Look kid.  You gotta realize these old Docs might not be quick enough to anticipate everything you’re gonna do.  If you need to reposition the patient’s head, let the Doc know.  Some of ’em can be kinda dumb.  I don’t want to be doing no brain biopsies.”

          It’d go over better and the employee would still get the point, I just wouldn’t embarrass them.

         Either way, though, I’m against office brain biopsies.  One rule I have is if I ain’t done it by now I’m not gonna start at this age.  I’ll leave that to the young smart @^^es.  (as opposed to the old ones.)

Dr. B

Explore posts in the same categories: Advice- Five Cents

6 Comments on “Office Brain Biopsy”

  1. mrschili Says:

    Totally unrelated, but we’ve got a cat who LOVES to have his ears scritched. So much so that he’ll lean right in and get you to dig. Mr. Chili calls that “Scritchen their brains.”

    I don’t think that your comment to the assistant was out of line – as a patient, I wouldn’t have been upset or offended, I don’t think – but I see your point. Often, it’s not WHAT we say, but how (and when) we say it that matters most.

  2. drtombibey Says:


    When I was young, I could have a bit of a temper if something wasn’t right. Over time I found I could get more done by other methods than getting mad. (Although inside I still do sometimes- that is one reason I play music.).

    I guess the worst that really would have happened would be to perforate the eardrum, but I don’t intend on doing that either.

    Dr. B

  3. pandemonic Says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re against them.

    As for dealing with employees, what I’ve learned is that before giving a criticism, start out with a compliment. Doing so lessens the sting.

  4. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Pande,

    I got so good at it, one time an employee went home and told her husband they weren’t sure, but they thought they’d been cussed out.

    Dr. B

  5. sshay Says:

    Dr. T,
    I work for my dad, which is an absolute delight. He has a great way of correcting his employees. When there’s no one else listening, he finds a way to put his “suggestions” in a positive light, takes his time and explains what needs to be done (or undone.)
    And he was my Sunday School teacher when I was in high school. With him as teacher, I was on my best behavior.
    But we had a deal worked out. When the other kids got to chattering, Dad you yell, “Susan! Be quiet!”
    Of course everyone shut up when they heard that.

  6. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Susan,

    Your Dad sounds like a smart man. It is always best to negotiate out a plan ahead of time whenever possible.

    My boy and I were close and still play a lot of golf, but I was also tight with my daughter, just like you and your Dad. I always say she is the female version of Tommy Bibey, except she is smarter and better looking. (Took after her mama on that thank goodness.)

    Dr. B

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