Medicine + Celebrities + Cash = Disaster

anna michael

The tragic deaths of Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith have shined a magnifying glass on the doctors who abuse their privilege as healthcare providers. As it should be. Even after I learned what was being stored in Anna Nicole’s minibar or hiding in Michael Jackson’s closet, I felt insulted by these physicians disregard for their profession.

But as I shimmy off my high horse to pick up the phone what do my wandering ears should hear but the voice a frantic agent asking me if I would oblige her famous French designer client by meeting him at his hotel this evening around midnight when he arrives from France. Apparently he is in desperate need of medical attention.

“Sure, why not?” I reply.

In the lobby of a five-star hotel, dressed in my best suit and doctor’s bag full of supplies, I wait until well past midnight. Then I am awakened by a flurry of excitement as this rock star designer enters with entourage in tow – six of them to be exact. The tall Russian looking assistant scans the lobby, notices me and puts his hand out to tell me to stop. I wait another twenty minutes. At which point, a representative from the hotel walks over and tells me they are ready for me in the presidential suite. The urgent emergency I discover is simply a sinus headache. I treat the designer and bid him adieu. The next day I receive a call from the agent. “You’re a rock star,” she tells me.

 anna-wintour

The end result, a limo picks me up later that evening to take me to his latest fashion show. I sit across from Anna Wintour, Charlize Theron and the President of Louis Vuitton. The fabulous Penelope Cruz is to my right. Not wanting to be a total geek, I suppress the urge to lean over and whisper, “You know we have the same birthday.”

Beverly Hills City Hall

It was heaven.

Later I am brought backstage and mingle with the models and celebrties like, Dita Von Teese. Afterward I ride down in the elevator with the adorable and pint size, Kylie Minogue, and as the limo takes me to the after party, I think to myself, “This is the life!”

 bigphoto-kylie-minogue

Months later, I receive a call from the rep of a famous super model turned TV star who needs a flu shot, pronto! Since her studio is close to my office, I pack up my doctor’s bag with the appropriate necessities, run home to change into high heel boots and race to her office. There I wait again. This time a mere twenty minutes before a sturdy, assertive, young woman greets me and asks me to sign a confidentiality agreement.

“Sure,” I say.

Then I am led through a labyrinth of hallways until I am finally brought to her inner sanctum office. I wait again. Eventually she comes in, looking even more gorgeous in real life. Her assistant holds out her hand, “Give me your cell phone,” she demands. I comply. Then I prepare for the injection. The super model sits in a chair, which looks like a throne, and says to her assistant, “Leave us. No one can see me get this shot!”

I’ve heard that super stars are often peculiar but this had nothing to do with me and by this time, all I wanted to do was get the F out of there. I administer the shot, apply a cutesy band-aid and pack my bag.

“That was the best shot I have ever received,” she says.

Two months later, they are still arguing over my fee. Hmmm. 

Understand that this multi-millionaire is arguing over a few hundred bucks. And it was a house call!

But wait it gets better. Press agent for a world renowned 70’s rock star is appearing on The View and needs a steroid injection in his vocal cords ASAP. “We’ll pay cash.”

Now, no one loves money more than me, but they were asking me to leave my busy office, travel in the rain up to ABC studios to give a rock star a steroid injection in his vocal cords.

“Are you nuts?” I reply. “Absolutely not. Go find yourself an ENT.”

Later my best friend Eric asks, “How much cash were we talking?”

“That’s not the point,” I answer. But later as I rest in bed, I wonder, “How much would they have paid me?”

The next day, the manager of a known alcoholic musician turned reality show star, calls to ask if I would write him a prescription for a Z-Pack and some Xanax. The catch is that he can’t come in, and I needed to do this over the phone. “We’ll pay,” she says.

We’ll pay apparently have become the magic words some doctors need to hear in order for them to bend the rules and potentially lose their licenses. Now I am no saint. Believe me whenever I have been approached, I do sit there and weigh the options. In my head, I try to convince myself that, “It would only be this one time and who will know?”

Stern kappor

Then I remember Michael Jackson and Anna Nicole Smith and think about those doctors who are under investigation and my heart stops.

Get thy behind me celebrities, you will not take away my license no matter how much money you throw at me… But it is tempting.

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