Monday, September 26, 2011

Conspiracy Theory

The hospital is out to make my husband fat!

It's true. I can't think of any other explanation for why they would tempt these tired and hungry doctors with junk food. Near the Operating Room is a doctors lounge. In this doctors lounge are computers, flat screen TVs, leather club chairs/recliners, newspapers, magazines, and a kitchen.  This isn't hearsay, I've seen it. The only thing missing is cigar smoke. It's a man cave.

Back to the fat part. In this kitchen they have stocked: cookies, pudding parfaits, pastries, cake, and a few healthier choices like hard-boiled eggs, fruit, hummus and pita. I know myself very well and given the choice between a cookie and a hard-boiled egg I will take the cookie every time, several times. Asking a doctor who is tired, over-worked, and in need of some nourishment (in other words, incapacitated) what do you think they will choose? You must possess control of all your wits to muster enough discipline to choose something other than sweets. At least I know I do, and that doesn't happen very often.

I realize that sometimes you need the quick burst of energy that only high calorie, sweet food can provide. But when that food is readily available every day all day it can quickly become a problem. To make matters worse, depending on the hospital, the cafeteria is essentially an all you can eat buffet (residents don't pay), assuming they have time to eat in the first place. Other hospitals issue meal cards commiserate with the number of night call. They are surrounded by food that is easy to access and quick to intake but not necessarily the best items for their overall health.

I've seen it happen at our program. Over the course of a year a resident can easily gain 10 pounds. We have one resident who has been told that he can not be chief unless he loses some weight.

Part two of my theory is related to the first. This same hospital that pumps my husband full of empty calories also asks him to be concerned with his weight through their strategic use of their health insurance plan. Yeah, I'm on that topic again. As a way to beef-up our deductible reimbursement account we have to take health screening. You don't have to take the screening, but if you need some extra money for those expensive bills you need to. If you pass the screening you get $600 towards your credit. If you fail the screening you have to participate in phone coaching sessions. DrH failed the screening several months ago and is in the process of these phone coaching sessions. Just another 6 weeks and he should have the mandatory 9 calls completed. They are holding him hostage because of his BMI all the while continuing to feed him garbage. That just seems mean.

Doctors/Residents don't have scheduled meal breaks. They eat when they can, and depending on the day they might not eat at all. Any person of authority on weight loss will tell you that you still need to eat at regular intervals to lose weight. The hospital must think doctors are exempt from the natural laws that govern the rest of the population or maybe they really aren't as interested in health as they claim to be.


  1. Hospitals are backwards in every. way. possible.
    They want our doctor friends to preach healthy ways to their patients - eat, sleep, exercise - yet staring back at those patients are overworked, under-rested, malnourished doctors. It's ridiculous.
    I can't believe that one resident can't be chief unless he loses weight? How much did he gain? So sad.... because the options are dismal and the time just isn't there to get healthy properly :(

  2. How ironic that is. They are the ones telling patients not to gain weight and telling them about the risks associated with it. It's always hard taken one's own advice.

  3. Almost all people in the medical profession have an issue with their health/weight. Probably 90% of the CNA's, nurses, and doctors I work with are overweight. It's important to remember that we do have a choice though when it comes to our diet!


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