Mike Oppenheim×
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In his regular column "The Life of a Hotel Doctor", Mike Oppenheim shares remarkable stories around visiting hotel guests as a doctor.


Free Services - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A few years ago, Quantas abruptly cancelled flights after an engine exploded. Other airlines followed. Their passengers were stuck in hotels. Within days calls began arriving from guests running out of

Crushing My Hopes - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

I didn't recognize the number on caller ID, and when I heard "This is Adele from L'Hermitage" I nearly dropped the phone. L'Hermitage never calls. I serve many luxury hotels (the Langham in distant Pasadena

A Dangerous Occupation - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

As I entered the room, half a dozen family members stood and bowed. When Japanese bow, it means no one speaks English, so I phoned the Japanese travel insurance agency. Passing my cell phone back and forth

An Unsatisfied Customer - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A Quantas flight attendant was vomiting, so I drove 49 miles to the Radisson in Newport Beach. Fortunately, she was already getting better. She hadn't vomited in six hours. I told her that she should continue

Too Many Cooks Again - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

An eight year-old's eyelid revealed a small bump. My diagnosis was a sty. As I explained, the mother held out her cell phone. "I e-mailed our doctor," she explained. I saw a photo of the child's face and

Outrageous Insurance - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A diamond dealer, violently ill with stomach flu, remained overnight at an emergency room. Returning to L.A. Marriott, he felt better except for some diarrhea. I reassured him and handed over anti-diarrhea

Screwing the Guest - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

A Craigslist ad was recruiting hotel doctors. I keep track of new arrivals and offer to work for them. They often take me up on it because it's not easy to find a doctor on the spur of the moment. A few

A Wee-Hour Call - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

The phone rang at 3 a.m. The operator at the Torrance Residence Inn announced that a guest with a sore throat wanted a visit. At 8:30 the following morning. "Why did she call now?" I asked. "I don't know

Be Careful What You Ask For - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

He had been coughing for several days, a guest explained, adding that he probably needed a Z-pak. When a patient suggests he needs an antibiotic, a doctor feels one of two emotions. (1) Pleasure because

A Dog-Eat-Dog Business, Part 11 - The Life of a Hotel Doctor

"This is Doctor Oppenheim," I repeated several times before hanging up. Caller ID identified the Doubletree in Santa Monica, so I phoned to ask if someone had requested a doctor. Someone had. "You answered