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Question
Posted by: Anyone? | 2012/08/23

How to get rid of Doctor''s swabs/slides

Hi CS,

I know this is not the correct forum, but it is a busy forum, so I thought I would post my question here, hope you don''t mind. I am helping a retired Doctor tidy up his house. There are some slides of operations and blood swabs of different diseases that I need to find a home for. I don''t want to toss them in the bin, the glass will cut someone. I live in a small town where there are no education facilities that would appreciate them.

Any ideas of what I can do with them?

Thanks everyone.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Busy indeed it is. As a retired doctor with a house needing tifying, I can maybe respond ! There are several issues here. One is that slides of operations and blood swabs, microscope slides, etc., are usually of little or no value to anyone else. If one does any teaching or lecturing, one always uses one's own slides and specimens. So they should probably be thrown away, just taking care, as you mention, about the issue of glass and sharp objects.
The other issue is one of patient confidentiality. Whereas there is usually n expectation that, like tax records, a doctor should keep his medical records for, say, 5 years after he retires in case there are medico-legal or other problems such that they'd need to be consulted ; or he hands them over to the doctor taking over his practice or who will now be dealing with the current patient(s). Some docs would think of perhaps giving the medical records of a patient to that patient, but this can be a problem - with doctor's handwriting being as bad as it usually is, and their language and terminology obscure, one's notes may be unduly worrying and confusing. Not to mention if he ever jotted down an uncomplimentary comment on the person ! He probably belongs to a medical insurance scheme or similar program, like the PMS or MDU, or a scheme through the SAMA ; and perhaps they should be consulted on all these points, for an official viewpoint.

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Our users say:
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/08/23

Busy indeed it is. As a retired doctor with a house needing tifying, I can maybe respond ! There are several issues here. One is that slides of operations and blood swabs, microscope slides, etc., are usually of little or no value to anyone else. If one does any teaching or lecturing, one always uses one's own slides and specimens. So they should probably be thrown away, just taking care, as you mention, about the issue of glass and sharp objects.
The other issue is one of patient confidentiality. Whereas there is usually n expectation that, like tax records, a doctor should keep his medical records for, say, 5 years after he retires in case there are medico-legal or other problems such that they'd need to be consulted ; or he hands them over to the doctor taking over his practice or who will now be dealing with the current patient(s). Some docs would think of perhaps giving the medical records of a patient to that patient, but this can be a problem - with doctor's handwriting being as bad as it usually is, and their language and terminology obscure, one's notes may be unduly worrying and confusing. Not to mention if he ever jotted down an uncomplimentary comment on the person ! He probably belongs to a medical insurance scheme or similar program, like the PMS or MDU, or a scheme through the SAMA ; and perhaps they should be consulted on all these points, for an official viewpoint.

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