Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

August 10, 2005 | Volume 5, Issue 1

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AMA Steps Up Efforts To Sell Unwanted Disability Insurance

Physicians bombarded with dubious advertising tactics

CHICAGO, IL—“Final notification,” says the envelope. “Time Sensitive Documents Enclosed.” “Final Reminder Enclosed.” “Dated Material Enclosed.” “Last chance.”

Final Notification #37

Using tactics usually reserved for junk mailings and “Publisher’s Clearing House” sweepstakes, the American Medical Association is increasing its efforts to hawk its disability insurance with official-looking envelopes stamped with ‘urgent’ pleas to open them.

According to AMA spokesperson Darryl Loberg, “we’ve found that the most effective way for us to get people to open these envelopes is to make them think there’s something really, really critical inside. And in order to do that, sometimes you have to bend the truth a little.”

“I mean, is this really the FINAL mailing we’ll be sending? Of course not. And is it really URGENT that physicians open them right then and there? Not by any means. But we know that doctors have many, many obligations during their busy days, and the only way to pry them away from more important things so that they can read our shpiel is, well, to trick ‘em.”

Dr. Lance Wehre, an internist in Austin, Texas, estimates that he gets “five or six of these mailings a month. That’s like 60-70 a year.”

“They come in all sorts of different sized mailers, with official looking stamps, some of them with those fake printed signatures. If this was some sleazy mortgage company, I might understand ... but the AMA??

According to Mr. Loberg, the AMA plans to add magazine stamps and fake “prizes” to the mailings later this year. “But you know what would be really awesome?” he added. “If only there were a way to send mesages to thousands of people at once, and for free ... hmmm ... wait a second ... I just had a brilliant idea!!”

Pile of crap from the AMA

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