It was many years ago. I was asked to see a patient at one of the nearby hospitals. The patient was a 47 year old male who had been hospitalized five times in the past few months. His admission was prompted by a temperature elevation and severe chills. Response was usual after a few days of antibiotics. I spent quite a while reviewing his paperwork, there were several charts and numerous tests that had been run, none of which seemed to be of much help. I spent at least a half hour talking to the patient to get as much history as possible, nothing seemed of much help. The physical examination was rather thorough and I didn’t want to miss anything. Eventually examining his prostate it appeared that he had an infection. I felt rewarded by my findings but felt that a long consultation covering everything I did would probably not be read anyway so I left a single note on the chart ____” Prostatitis”.
The following day I returned to my office and told my secretary what I had done and what I had written she told me, “If that’s all you wrote I can’t bill!!” ( I never did get paid for this consultation)
Since that time it has become increasingly clear that more words get more money, even if the report is so long that no one has time to read it.