Who Needs a Name Tag!?

        We got a notice the other day that the State Board is spot checking to be sure all the Docs wear their name tags.

        I understand where that comes from (I guess) because there are impostors out there, but it does seem they should have better things to do.  Here in Harvey County if I was to go rob a bank, the teller would say, “Well for Heaven’s sake Dr. B, you know Mr. Henry will give you a loan.  There ain’t no need for that.  Hey, can you see mama today?  Her neuralgia is flaring up.”

          And so it goes.  One time the Board issued a position statement that ‘providers’ should not treat friends and family.  Well, after twenty-five years here in the County just who the hell do they think I’m gonna treat?

          I went to medical school with a guy whose dream was to be on that Board.  I don’t know if he ever got there or not, but he had the clear perception he was a superior human being who needed to micromanage the lives of others.

          I know the Board does some important things, and I am confident I do not understand all their responsibilities.  But, I’d like to make a them a deal.  As soon as they stamp out Docs who trade drugs for sex, or sleep with little intern girls then hide behind some technicality, for that matter as soon as they insist all Docs treat their people with respect and dignity without fail, then by God I’ll make sure I wear my name tag every single day.

         I don’t know what to do about the family and friends thing, though.  That’s all the patients I have and I have no idea where they would go to get medical care.

Dr. B

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9 Comments on “Who Needs a Name Tag!?”

  1. Kim Justesen Says:

    Hey Doc –

    At the small college where I teach, only the full-time instructors and staff have name tags. Because I’m a low-life adjunct, I don’t get one. We have a lot of new faculty and staff around, so in the past six weeks, I’ve headed in to make copies, or gone into the faculty break room and been asked if I was lost, or told that I shouldn’t be in there.

    I guess I should maybe take it as a compliment?

    Kim J.

  2. drtombibey Says:

    Ms. Kim,

    It’s because you are so young they think you are a student. They don’t make that mistake with old Doc!

    Dr. B

  3. The wonders of administrations, right? This is just so ridiculous…. I mean, how hard would it be for an impostor to fake a name-tag?! Not hard at all, I say. I agree with you, I think there are much much much more important things that the board should be tackling, and corrupt doctors are definitely in there.
    It’s good to know that you care about things like respect and decency, Dr. B. Not that I ever thought different, but it’s always good to hear a good doc talk about his patients as if he gives a damn. I think lots of doctors numb themselves out because of the difficulties of dealing with human beings in tough situations day after day. You’re not like that, and it’s a comfort.

  4. drtombibey Says:


    You know, when you wrote in it occurred to me ain’t no Doctor gonna fake being me. My patients would know it in a heart-beat and turn the cat in.

    I really do care for mine sure enough, but if I wasn’t nice to ’em they’d tell my mama at church. She might be quite elderly, but I don’t want to have to answer to her.

    Dr. B

  5. PiedType Says:

    Doc, you’re a rare and dying breed. The kind of doc my dad took pride in being. It’s scary to be getting on in years and not have docs like that anymore — just when I’ll be needing them the most.

    • drtombibey Says:


      I bet your Dad and I could talk for a long time. There were several Docs around town who were my heros growing up, and I suspect he was just like them.

      Dr. B

  6. Smitty Neuse River Pres. Says:

    Doc, they just don’t understand and you could never will get them to understand unless you got the decree in a minute form so they would have to read it and take a vote.
    I understand about the security issue,Lord knows in the profession I am in we lock down everyday but you got to know who is a stranger and not.

    Did you get a chance to ask them who you were suppose to see? I can see it now,you talking to a patient, I must pretend that I don’t know you so I can treat you. The patient would probably say, Doc how bout’ I come back later when you are feeling better.

    The problem with all of this is, we deal with people not numbers. In a data driven corporate world, it more about numbers. When you talk to someone in Harvey County English it is about a person. I like the second choice and we use that one around here.

    Take care, I think I told Mrs. T checked in, if not let me know and I will write about our conversation. Still love the picture on facebook.

  7. drtombibey Says:


    It came out in a memo that went out to all the Docs across the state, so I didn’t discuss it with them, but I am confident they wouldn’t get it.

    The strange thing though, is when they have family who live around here and they are sick, they’ll call me and ask me to see ’em. I’m more than happy to do it; that is what I do, but I have to wonder what they would say if I said, “Oh I can’t do that. We are friends outside of the office, and you know that is against the rules.”

    I love your quote. “We deal with people, not numbers.” That is what I have to do until the very end. I don’t know another way.

    Dr. B

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