Vignettes from Medicine: How to be an idiot.

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?
Patient:  *nods*
Me:  Great.  Can you tell me why you came to the hospital?
Patient:  *nods*
Me: … Oh.  Okay.  Why did you come to the hospital?
Patient:  *nods*
Two Nurses Standing Outside:  *snickering*
Me: …  Sir?  … Can you speak?
Patient:  PTHTHTHB.
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…

… shutup.

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4 thoughts on “Vignettes from Medicine: How to be an idiot.

  1. My close friends have told me that I can be very mean sometimes, and I can tell you that, as a jerk, I wouldn’t even stoop to that level. Why are people like that doctors? 😦

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