Ask Rocco: 05/05

Healthcare: the failure principle

By Rocco Castellano
Last week I discussed the clusterf— that is the healthcare industry; specifically how OB/GYNs are handing their patients on every visit, at least in my experience.

I can understand the God complex many physicians acquire over the years. Sometimes I actually appreciate it: confidence, experience and the ability to make life-changing decisions are necessary for this job. Pretty f—ing cool, if you ask me. There’s only one problem. If you are God, don’t hire idiots to run Heaven … or at least your office operations.

Like I stated last week, many doctors forget they are running a business. They get caught up in the whole, “I’m a doctor, I went to a hundred years of school, I owe a million dollars in student loans and because I did all of that I will automatically make money” thing.

Here’s a clue, if your customer experience sucks, you suck. It’s a pretty easy conclusion. You can be Dr. Henry Heimlich, smarter than every other doctor, but if your patients can’t trust you, your potential millionaire status is doomed.

When you hire rhesus monkeys to run a very vital part of how you earn your money, all you get is a lot of noise and a whole lot of shit thrown around your cage … I mean office. Once a patient gets shit thrown in their eyes they won’t be coming back to visit the “monkey house” and your earnings dwindle. Oh, how I remember the field trips I would go on to the Bronx Zoo…

So as far as I’m concerned, I’m still visiting the monkey house and still getting shit thrown at me. All I hear is “oo-oo-oo-oo” and “I don’t know.”

I sometimes think I would be better off rolling the dice at the monkey house with all the idiots running doctors offices these days. OK, enough of this hyperbole…

We finally got to see the nurse practitioner and everything seems to be fine. Because the monkey who couldn’t find the baby during my wife’s ultrasound screwed up, we were asked to go to a high-risk pregnancy ultrasound just to make sure they got the right snapshots of my little boy.

We got through that with flying colors and were very happy. We seemed to have found a better doctor – very thorough and taking patient care into account. Nice. Umm, no.

The next appointment was for 10:15 a.m. We were early by 10 minutes. Because, of course, there may be other forms, or maybe we would have to pay another fee that we weren’t told about. We wanted to be prepared – I’m a former Boy Scout. We checked in, sat down and waited, waited some more, waited some more and started thinking about ordering a pizza.

An hour went by and not a peep from anyone. So I was on the phone to the pizzeria ordering a 16-inch with everything on it when all of a sudden my wife’s name was called.

We walked – well I walked, she waddled – through a very welcoming door and were led to a room with all the appropriate apparatus for checking pregnant woman – monitors, tables with medieval looking stirrups, only one stool … I sat down.

I may be here for a while. I’m glad I did. If they are going to make you wait a f—ing hour and 15 more minutes, put a f—ing movie in, give us some popcorn (or nachos) and maybe we won’t be so angry when you come in and spend seven minutes to tell us everything we already f—ing know.

Here’s a little story for you.

My wife is pretty, but tough, and thinks she can do all types of shit. Me being the big tough guy, I’m constantly exerting my toughness so she doesn’t have to move anything. Even paper.

One day, while I was upstairs in my office I heard a little boom. I could tell it hadn’t been made by my dogs. I ran downstairs to find my wife had slipped on the second-to-last step.

Any impact is impact when it comes to pregnancy.

The doctor was called; no answer. What the f—? The EMT was called, vitals were clear, but we were advised to call the doctor. Tried again … nope.

There were no immediate signs of distress so we opted to wait until the morning. We called the doctors office and were told to go to the hospital, to get monitored and checked out. This is standard procedure when a fall is involved. Cool. Not so much.

My wife was absolutely fine – the baby was kicking, heart tones were perfect, cervix was perfect, no placental damage… we were allowed to leave five hours later. The best five hours I spent in a hospital. Everything was great.

The next day, we got a call from the OB/GYN’s office, telling us we have to come in to do the exact same thing we were doing in the hospital the day before. Are you f—ing kidding me? The doctor was on the phone (I was listening) with the OB/GYN and reported that everything was fine.

We are not that stupid – we know when a money grab is taking place. So, it was off to find a new OB/GYN … at 30 weeks. We did.

What’s the point of all this? Sometimes life-or-death situations arise; don’t let monkeys do your f—ing job. This is not the Bronx f—ing Zoo.

The views and opinions expressed in Ask Rocco are the views and/or opinions of the author and do not reflect the views and/or opinions of the Dayton City Paper or Dayton City Media and are published strictly for entertainment purposes.


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Rocco Castellano is the author of “askROCCO Uncensored v1,” a speaker and a controversial fitness personality who has won an Emmy for his fitness training role in MTV’s Made. For more information, please visit

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