Ever felt like the doctor wasn’t listening? Ever felt rushed through your appointment? You wait 45 minutes to spend only 3 minutes actually talking to the doctor and getting a cursory exam. Just feel the pain of these patients. These are actual comments written in patients’ charts.
Poor bed-side manner
“The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993.”
Does this say more about the patient or the doctor? How about a referral?
“The patient has no past history of suicides.”
If they did, they wouldn’t need a doctor. Can I get directions to the morgue? I’ve got things not to do.
“When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room.”
If there had been someone kind enough to catch her, maybe she wouldn’t have bumped her head so hard. Something tells me the phrase “went down like a sack of potatoes” was used on the golf course that weekend.
Do some doctors have the God Complex? It’s a feeling of superiority and self-indulgence based on the assumption that they control life and death.
“Discharge status: Alive but without permission.”
Hey! Where are you going?! Come back here, lie down, and assume room temperature!
“The patient refused an autopsy.”
But it’s covered by your insurance. Why not?
“The patient will need disposition, and therefore we will get Dr. Blank to dispose of him.”
Dr. Blank must be an intern. They get all the crap work.
“Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing.”
One-Adam-Twelve: be on the lookout for naked, bleeding man.
“Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful.”
The transcriptionist had a brain aneurysm immediately after typing this.
“Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.”
I’m not sure Merck is working on the drug for this, yet. It might definitely be needed in the immediate, distant future.
“Patient was alert and unresponsive.”
Maybe they just don’t like you Doc.
“The skin was moist and dry.”
Talk about combination skin. That’s one heck of a T-zone problem you have there. This patient was given a prescription for Oil of Olay.
“By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart stopped, and he was feeling better.”
Funny, last time my heart stopped, I didn’t feel so good.
“On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely.”
You could at least send an orderly to look for it.
“Patient’s past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days.”
All you can eat at the Sizzler got a little out of hand.
“While in the ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home.”
There has to be a malpractice suit pending for this one.
“She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.”
Must be the same patient from the ER.
“The patient expired on the floor uneventfully.”
Tell that to the family.
“Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital.”
He’ll need those. Could you at least send a car?
Non-sequiter or things make you go, “Buzzawhat?”
“I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.”
And you complain that your chiropractor is too rough.
“The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead.”
Wall Street can be just as gut wrenching.
“Patient has two teenage children but no other abnormalities.”
So that’s the funny pains I’ve been having. May I should see my doctor.
“She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.”
That’s a load off her mind and elsewhere. The patient is now looking for a high-fiber relationship.
“Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.”
Anorexia with a side of bulimia, please and make it to go.
Thank you Dr. Obvious
“The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed.”
Now he has “Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches.”
“Skin: Somewhat pale but present.”
Yea, but do you really need skin?
“She is numb from her toes down.”
Doesn’t sound too serious. Maybe the floor is just cold.
What we’ve learned
There is an art to ambiguity, but no room for it in some professions. Doctors are only human and you have the right to question them and be answered. Your doctor should welcome a second opinion. If not, you should choose a new doctor. No one’s perfect, but if you’re going into the medical arts, you better damn sure try to be as close to perfect as possible.