I like asking patients about their jobs. Sometimes it may seem relevant to the complaint. Other times, it could potentially help the therapeutic bond. Mostly, it's just interesting.
Occasionally, I'll hear a patient is not working; that he or she is on disability.
This can surprise me, especially when the patient's interview responses and examination seem quite appropriate and unremarkable.
Now, I'm not in an ED where this happens too often (or maybe I don't ask enough). At any rate, I haven't been compelled to blog about this phenomenon, like, for example, Edwin Leap recently did. And I'm certainly not of the mind that disability payments are responsible for the debt crisis, or that the vast majority of folks on disability don't deserve it.