My Patient, but Seeing That Other Guy Too

Bigamy in the medical home

"My" patient came to see me, her "PCP," yesterday, for a routine visit.

I have "my" and "PCP" in quotes because, in reality, it turns out she might not really be my patient. She is an 82-year-old woman with multiple sclerosis, hypertension, diabetes, and chronic pain, who comes to see me once every 6 months for a "checkup." We go over her medical conditions and talk about how she has been doing over the past few months and a few symptoms she has been experiencing that may come up through a review of systems. When I ask to go over her medications for medicine reconciliation in our electronic health record, she brings out a large black plastic bag.

Inside are 21 prescription bottles, for 17 unique medications (some of them are duplicates and expired bottles), almost all prescribed by a local internist near her home in Brooklyn, none by me.

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