This afternoon, I'm the intern who cried chest pain. I have a patient who complained to me about chest pain for twenty minutes, and I grabbed the attending to take a look and see if we should run any tests. I bring the attending in, and ask the patient to repeat what he was telling me.
"Chest pain? I didn't have any chest pain."
"You just spent twenty minutes telling me about your chest pain."
"I don't remember any chest pain. I feel fine."
And this is not a patient with dementia. At least we didn't think so. I decided I'd press my luck and do a quick mini-mental exam.
"What year is it?"
"Who's the President?"
"You sure you didn't have chest pain?"
"Why would I have chest pain?"
Okay, at least the attending realized I wasn't crazy. I wish patients would come in with signs around their neck-- "Good Historian" or "Don't Trust What I Say." It would make things easier.