* * Anonymous Doc

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A patient in clinic this afternoon didn't like me. I don't know, sometimes you don't click. He was this big guy, mid-50s, seemed to want a doctor who looked older, more imposing. He made a few jokes about how young I am, and then got annoyed when I asked about his eating habits (he's overweight, elevated blood pressure, history of high cholesterol). One of my supervising doctors popped in to grab a file, and the patient starts making a fuss to her. "I want a new doctor. This guy is incompetent." My supervisor brushed him off, and that just made him more annoyed. He walked into the hallway and started yelling after her-- "He's not qualified to be a doctor. He shouldn't be a doctor. He should be a train conductor."

And of course I didn't really know what to do-- I didn't want to argue with him, but I felt like I should try to reason with him and get him out of the hallway. But, gosh-- train conductor? So specific, and a little baffling. He didn't say I should be a high school student, or, I don't know, a waiter, or something else relatively menial. A train conductor. Why did he think I should be a train conductor? I'd be a terrible train conductor. I was running 25 minutes late-- and I didn't even really know the way to the examining room I was supposed to use. Those are both terrible characteristics for a train conductor. I don't know why I've been overthinking this-- it just seemed so oddly specific. Then again, my patient was probably crazy, so I really shouldn't be considering his career advice as if he has any idea what he was talking about.


  1. OK, you are stuck on this-give it up. You were right-he's crazy. You've accomplished what was needed-humor. Thanks for the laugh.

  2. A train conductor?? I've been laughing about this all afternoon!