Bedbug Calls - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Bedbug Calls - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 10 Feb

"All insect bites look the same," I explained. Bedbug calls are tricky. Patients blame the hotel, so they are reluctant to pay the doctor. Confronted by an angry guest, hotels ask my help and often offer to pay my fee.

Departing From Your Routine - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Departing From Your Routine - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 30 Jan

Twenty years ago I drove thirty-five miles to Pasadena to see a patient. When I opened the trunk to get my bag, it wasn't there. I had left it at home. I drove back to retrieve it.

Not the Right Way To Do It - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Not the Right Way To Do It - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 23 Jan

"My son has a boil on his leg. Our doctor says he might need an antibiotic. Could you come to the hotel?" A boil is collection dead tissue, full of pus and germs. It has no blood supply, so an antibiotic can’t reach it. Antibiotics don’t cure boils.

Do You Accept My Insurance? - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Do You Accept My Insurance? - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 16 Jan

More than "I'm having chest pain" or "my mother stopped breathing" the most stressful phrase a hotel doctor hears is "Do You Accept My Insurance?"

Lost in Translation, Part 3 - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Lost in Translation, Part 3 - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 9 Jan

"I am constipated," said a guest with a thick French accent. "Constipation' means different things to different people," I said. "What exactly bothers you?" Silence…. When a caller doesn't answer, it usually means he doesn't understand.

When General Managers Consult the Lawyer - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
When General Managers Consult the Lawyer - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 2 Jan

A lady reported that her eleven year-old son was seriously ill but refused to take him to a clinic or emergency room. She had been pestering the hotel staff all day.

I Just Need a Shot - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
I Just Need a Shot - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 24 Dec

A woman under treatment for infertility needed a progesterone shot every month. She had the vial. Could I send a nurse?

I Encounter a Rare Disease - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
I Encounter a Rare Disease - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 17 Dec

A man suffered a headache on his flight. After arriving at the hotel, he felt severe pain in his left ear. When he opened the door, I noticed that the left side of his face drooped.

The Crab Tasted Funny… - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
The Crab Tasted Funny… - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 10 Dec

"No one but my wife had crab cakes in the hotel restaurant last night, and about 4 a.m……" A miserable problem for the guest's wife but also a difficulty for me. The caller had no doubt that his wife was suffering food poisoning although no one can make that diagnosis unless more than one person gets sick. In developed countries, viral infections cause most upset stomachs.

Free Services - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Free Services - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 4 Dec

A few years ago, Quantas abruptly cancelled flights after an engine exploded. Other airlines followed.

Crushing My Hopes - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Crushing My Hopes - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 26 Nov

I didn't recognize the number on caller ID, and when I heard "This is Adele from L'Hermitage" I nearly dropped the phone.

A Dangerous Occupation - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
A Dangerous Occupation - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 19 Nov

As I entered the room, half a dozen family members stood and bowed. When Japanese bow, it means no one speaks English, so I phoned the Japanese travel insurance agency.

An Unsatisfied Customer - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
An Unsatisfied Customer - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 12 Nov

A Quantas flight attendant was vomiting, so I drove 49 miles to the Radisson in Newport Beach. Fortunately, she was already getting better. She hadn't vomited in six hours. I told her that she should continue to improve and advised her to suck on ice chips. I went to the ice machine and filled tub. Normally, I would have left antinausea pills, but she was pregnant. She thanked me effusively as I left.

Too Many Cooks Again - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Too Many Cooks Again - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 5 Nov

An eight year-old's eyelid revealed a small bump. My diagnosis was a sty. As I explained, the mother held out her cell phone.

Outrageous Insurance - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Outrageous Insurance - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 29 Oct

A diamond dealer, violently ill with stomach flu, remained overnight at an emergency room. Returning to L.A. Marriott, he felt better except for some diarrhea. I reassured him and handed over anti-diarrhea pills.

Screwing the Guest - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Screwing the Guest - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 22 Oct

A Craigslist ad was recruiting hotel doctors. I keep track of new arrivals and offer to work for them. They often take me up on it because it’s not easy to find a doctor on the spur of the moment. A few hours after my query, the phone rang. The caller introduced himself, adding that he knew me, admired me, and was certain that I was a perfect hire.

A Dog-Eat-Dog Business, Part 11 - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
A Dog-Eat-Dog Business, Part 11 - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 1 Oct

"This is Doctor Oppenheim," I repeated several times before hanging up. Caller ID identified the Doubletree in Santa Monica, so I phoned to ask if someone had requested a doctor. Someone had.

All in a Day’s Work - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
All in a Day’s Work - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 24 Sep

"She speaks Spanish. I'm not sure what's going on, but she needs a doctor."

Good Luck - The Life of a Hotel Doctor
Good Luck - The Life of a Hotel Doctor — By Mike Oppenheim

Mike Oppenheim M.D. · 16 Sep

A national housecall service connected me with a guest at the Montage in Beverly Hills. She was suffering the flu; I told her I'd arrive in half an hour.