How To Wean People Off Doctors

It’s Friday and since no one gives a damn about our groundbreaking Verizon expose, here’s a 1999 Daily Show video where a fake HMO spokesperson played by Paul Mercurio presents his case for “How To Wean People Off Doctors”. To wit: “Giving birth eats up a lot of time, something today’s busy working women don’t have much of. That’s where our next project comes in. Drive-through maternity clinics. Or, as we like to call them, Stop & Pops.” Wasn’t Walmart thinking about installing those this year? Full video inside.


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  1. B says:

    This is exactly why I don’t go to hospitals. They’re filled with sick people.

  2. egosub2 says:

    What makes you say no one gives a damn about the Verizon exposé? Fewer than 100 comments? I was fascinated, but it’s a lot to take in.

  3. Jevia says:

    Actually, my former employer would have loved a “stop and pop.” I swear they wanted me to have a C-section because it would have been a lot more convenient for them if I could tell them the exact day that I was going to give birth. And, of course, I had to be back in six weeks, or less preferably.

  4. YourFuzzyGod says:

    How random. Thank you.

  5. dry-roasted-peanuts says:

    All I need to know about medicine I learned from hobos: keep a constant supply of alcohol in your blood. It’s kinda like an internal Purel.

  6. Uriel says:


  7. Softly-with-a-Big-Stick says:

    Wean off doctors? No problem! After an overdose of medication that leaves you brain injured because the doctors wouldn’t acknowledge that maybe the PATIENT knows a little about their drug tolerance level, multiple trips to the ER because they WON’T LISTEN when you say you are EXTREMELY SENSITIVE to medications (think brain injury???), botched simple knee surgery leaving you in worse shape than before (all ME!) or how about a relative who went in for arterial bypass on her legs and had her heart stop? Solution? Forget the legs, start the heart! OK, but who’s watching the legs??? Obviously no one, she had to have two good legs and most of her colon amputated. Died a week later. Or how about my mom? Admitted with a urinary tract infection. On multiple heavy duty controlled meds for other serious problems and the doc takes her off COLD TURKEY! The woman was 80 years old! She died a painful death.

    As for me, I’m self treating and just planning to die earlier than I had hoped—at least I will probably live longer than if I seek medical help.

    Oh, and did I mention I’m a formerly healthy woman now on SS disability? Stay at home Mom for 30 years, so I collect my crappy $300.00 a month! Thank God for wonderful spouses, I couldn’t afford a cardboard box under a bridge on that income.

    Oh yah, you can say she’s bitter—and pissed big time!

    Hot button, watch out, this is BIG STICK time!

  8. humphrmi says:

    @egosub2: Yeah, and what about everyone who doesn’t do business with Verizon? I’m supposed “read” about “other peoples problems” and be “empathetic” to them? Jeez, what a waste of my day.

  9. Uriel says:


    Wow, that sounds very troubling. I hope you or your family have attempted legal actions. God bless you and take care.

  10. humphrmi says:

    @Softly-with-a-Big-Stick: Wow, I thought this post was really actually kind of funny. I’m glad you brought us all back to reality.

    Sorry to hear about your troubles.

  11. chatterboxwriting says:

    @Softly-with-a-Big-Stick: I hear you. Not to that extent, but I understand. In 2005, I woke up one morning with the most horrible pain I ever felt (and I had had surgery 13 times by this point). I was told I had a bladder infection and sent home on 4,000 mg of antibiotics daily. I was hospitalized 3 more times before I ended up going to another hospital and finding out I had an ovarian mass that had to be removed – not to mention, the 4,000 mg of antibiotics made me SICK. The same hospital also had me on Dilaudid for 6 days, gave me my last shot of it at 3:30 p.m., and discharged me at 4:00. In reality, they are supposed to wean you off of it because it is highly addictive and people usually experience withdrawal symptoms even if they’ve only been on it for a short time.

  12. Cliff_Donner says:

    @B Don’t know if you were meaning to be humorous or not, but YES. That’s EXACTLY why you want to avoid going to the hospital if you can. Back in the old days, before they learned to control infections, the hospital was the WORST place to go if you had an immune system that was compromised in any way. Then we learned how to use antibiotics.

    Now the antibiotics aren’t working. STAY AWAY FROM SICK PEOPLE IF YOU CAN.

  13. Balisong says:

    @Softly-with-a-Big-Stick: That’s terrible stuff. But at least you were able to get SS disability. My mom’s applying for the third time, this time through a lawyer.

  14. humphrmi says:


    Now the antibiotics aren’t working

    No kidding! Agreed!

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve called up my doctor with a cough or just “feeling under the weather” and he shot off an antibiotic script to my pharmacy. What I really want to know is: am I contagious? Should I avoid contact with co-workers? Or will I get over it if I rest and drink plenty of fluids? Should I take a few days off, or just tough it out? What he wants to do is, make my condition go away as quickly as possible. His masters at the corporate HMO level have to meet their KPI’s, so it’s “take a pill and get back to work”.

    I know it sounds wrong, but I simply don’t call my doctor in those cases any more. I can predict his “diagnosis”, and I know that I can recover from the cold and flu myself, without his help.

    So am I wrong by agreeing with the (mock) commentator in this case? Instead, should I simply ingest tons of antibiotics, as my doctor suggests, every time I sneeze more than once? And it’s not just him, every doctor I’ve had over the last 20 years is antibiotic-addicted. Or they’re too busy to see you anyway.

  15. EtherealStrife says:

    verizon expose : tl;dr

    Thanks for the stop and pop though.

  16. WasabiJoe says:

    Wow, Jon looks young. This is the first articleI’ve read on Consumerist so I will be going to the Verizon one when I see it

  17. Softly-with-a-Big-Stick says:

    @NeroDiavolo: Thanks NeroDiavolo. No legal help available for me though. Tried. lawyers say that since the meds prescribed for me (steroids by the way) were prescribed at the “recommended” dose I couldn’t win. Doctors claim the brain injury is from “unknown cause.” No matter the symptoms started with the drugs—was fine until then. I’m fairly certain the botched knee surgery was a related result—in a strange way. Dr. “God” informed me he always used steroids in surgery and I said NO. He got pissed and told me I’d better tell the anesthesiologist—he’d probably forget! I used a red Sharpie on my forearm and in 2″ letters wrote “NO STEROIDS” on it before going in to surgery. Came out with a botched job. You do the math!

    Right up there with the Vioxx I took from the time it went on the market until I had an embolism the week it was pulled. Filed with the class action, but guess since they caught it early and I survived there wasn’t enough money to be made so they dropped me from the case—along with a lot of other people who suffered no one ever heard about. Never had a heart problem in my life before that. Lawyers will only take a sure thing—no money to be made, if god forbid, they should have to do a little work.

    And to think I gave birth to a lawyer ! So proud of him—he’s still paying student loans but refuses to work in the field! He has a conscience!

    Doctors and Lawyers–no thanks. Life sucks right now because of both, and I’m too young to be in this position.

    BTW, that’s why my “Login” name. I’ve always been an advocate and been effective walking softly, but the past few years I’ve learned to have the “Big Stick” ready and use it a lot more when I need it. Just wish some of these doctors/lawyers could be forced to live in a few of our shoes for a while—we would either have a lot fewer of them or the system would change real fast.

  18. Softly-with-a-Big-Stick says:

    @Balisong: Surprised me, I was approved the first round–and I was in my early 50’s. Unheard of. That’s part of my frustration. If it was so bad that SS didn’t fight me why can’t I get legal help?

    My suggestion to your Mom that I think probably helped my case—Document, document, document. Flood them with paper. I had everyone I knew write a letter describing who I was “before” and who I am “now.” Also, I’m sure it helped to write graphically. Won’t repeat it here, but they got the picture and it wasn’t pretty. Most important is DO NOT MINIMIZE ANYTHING. Don’t lie, but we sometimes tend to say things like “Well, if I really have to I could walk 200 feet to my car in the parking lot,” when in reality is it very painful and some days you can’t. SS will grab any opportunity to turn you down and that is a big one.

    Good luck, it’s too bad so many who truly deserve and need it are refused and those jerks who con the system are sitting pretty. JMHO!

  19. captainleah says:


    love how much trial and error goes on in doctors offices and hospitals. it’s dangerous and it wastes time and money.

  20. k6richar says:

    Let your kid go play outside and get dirty, best way to build up the immune system. My parents did that for me and the last time i was at the doctor was 9 years ago for scheduled immunization shots, can’t remember last time i went to a doctor or hospital for a disease.

  21. elf6c says:

    10,000 views is pretty good. The 59 comment thing is a reflection on the gaming of the comment and voting system here by various PR firms and “Viral Marketers”. Watch certain cable threads and certain telecom/dish threads. Its good that Comsumerist is important enough to game, but bad that they haven’t stop it yet.

  22. Mr. Gunn says:

    The best way to wean people off is to convince them that alternative medicine like homeopathy, acupuncture, and chiropractic can treat whatever ills they have.

    Note that I’m not saying this is the best way to treat whatever’s wrong with them, provided it’s something other than being a hypochondriac, but it will result in them using doctors less, until they eventually have to go in with a serious problem that could have been treated earlier and cheaper with a better outcome, of course.