kalleboo via Flickr

kalleboo via Flickr

Like any profession, the medical profession has it’s lingo. Doctors are notoriously famous for using a lot of jargon and for not doing a good job at breaking down complex concepts when talking with patients.

Doctors routinely refer to cancer as “growth” or “tumor” but experience has taught me that until you use the “C” word (cancer), patients assume the best.

You probably know what BP (blood pressure) and BMI (body mass index) stand for. Here is a medical jargon you probably don’t know about; It’s an insider term used by healthcare professional that NEVER makes it into the patient’s medical record.

I am talking about the term “Frequent Flyer”.

The traditional frequent flyer is an individual who flies a lot and patronizes a particular airline. This individual accumulates lots of frequent flyer miles in the process that can then be cashed out for future free trips. A good reward for loyalty.

Our frequent flyers are a little different. They are in the emergency rooms every other day seeking care. When not in the ER, they are probably in their doctor’s office.

These folks are usually in poor physical or mental health. They are usually welcomed with a sigh or an eye roll but certainly not an upgrade. At the heart of the problem is an individual who is just trying to feel better.

If you or a family member fall into the “frequent flyer” category, look into enlisting in a remote health monitoring program where you are enrolled in a registry of sort and you get electronic communication via the phone, email or text from a healthcare team. Most health insurance providers offer this service in one shape or form.

The remote health monitoring program could help keep an open channel with medical care without having to be physically present in a healthcare facility at all times.

Doctors are trained to save lives but being around us frequently may be too much of a good thing. As it goes with any relationship;

Familiarity breeds contempt but absence makes the heart go fonder.


About the author

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Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.

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