Resident: Hey, found an interesting new patient for you! REALLY interesting!
Me: Oh, cool!
Resident: Should I tell you more abou—? Naaaaah. Want to just figure this guy out yourself? By doing the H&P?
Me: Sure! Absolutely!
Enters patient room with an obnoxious excess of enthusiasm.
Me: Excuse me – sir? Hi! I’m Action Potential, a 3rd year medical student from Metropolis Med. Can I ask you some questions and do a quick physical exam?
Me: Great. Can you tell me why you came to the hospital?
Me: … Oh. Okay. Why did you come to the hospital?
Two Nurses Standing Outside: *snickering*
Me: … Sir? … Can you speak?
Two Nurses Standing Outside: *outright laughter*
Patient: *falls asleep, drooling slightly*
Me: … soooo, can the patient talk?
Nurse: Well, if you’d read his chart, you’d know he doesn’t talk.
Me: … I see.
Nurse: You finished? I need to change the IV.
Me: … Apparently. *leaves*
I didn’t think it was a very funny joke.
This story has an even more unfortunate ending, though, which is that “But I thought you were joking” is not a good excuse when the resident asks you to give a full presentation and plan for that patient.
Stop shaking your head at me. I thought it was a mean joke! I know full well that some patients in the hospital can’t talk! I just.. you know…? They have…
… I mean…