If Calls from Your Doctor Were Like Calls from Your Alma Mater

We know you have such fond memories of our hospital

Laura Berlinsky-Schine
Published in
3 min readJun 29, 2022


Woman in lab coat holding a phone with both hands
National Cancer Institute/Unsplash

Doctor: Hi, I’m calling for Suzanne Castro. This is Dr. Rubenstein.

Patient: Hi, Dr. Rubenstein.

Doctor: I have the results of your STD panel. But first, I wanted to ask if you have a second to support John T. Hughes Hospital with a generous monetary contribution.

Patient: Wait, can you just give me my results?

Doctor: I’m very eager to share your results. But first, I’m thrilled to share some exciting initiatives we have in the pipeline. This summer, Hughes Hospital will be installing a new lawn. We know you’ve had some fantastic memories of spending time on that lawn as a patient, crossing it on your way to your appointments. And then back again when you were heading home. You might even call it a second home, actually. And now, it’s going to be even greener.

Patient: Can you just tell me if I have VD? I’ve never noticed the lawn.

Doctor: I can’t wait to get to that. Would you like to make a generous contribution in the amount of $1,000?

Patient: Um, no. That’s my monthly insurance premium.

Doctor: I understand completely. However, considering all the cherished times you and your fellow patients have spent together at Hughes Hospital, I know you’ll be truly inspired to learn that, in recognition of the fact that John T. Hughes was deeply racist — something we have attempted to deny until yesterday, when an exposé was published in the Times, leaving us no choice but to concede that at one time, Hughes may have involuntarily uttered a racial slur, but we’re pretty sure he didn’t mean it — we have chosen to erect a statue of the one Black physician we had in our 150-year history. We hired him last year. He’s not dead. And we’re also not taking down that very prominent statue of Hughes. The statue of the doctor, whose name I have forgotten, will be smaller.

To support the statue, can we count on your contribution of $1,500?

Patient: No! I’m broke. I literally ate the paper lining on my muffin this morning. I really just need to know if I have syphilis.



Laura Berlinsky-Schine

Writer of words. Mocker of people and things. Dog mom to Hercules. The Rumpus, Points in Case, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Belladonna, etc.