* * Anonymous Doc

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What you say / What we hear

What you say: "I take my pills almost every day."
What we hear: "I almost never take my pills, and probably don't even know where they are-- if I even filled the prescription to begin with."

What you say: "I think I followed up with the specialist, yeah."
What we hear: "I did not follow up with anyone, and only now remember that I was supposed to."

What you say: "You told me not to eat anything before I came in, so, yeah, I basically didn't eat anything."
What we hear: "I had breakfast, but I ate it quickly."

What you say: "I probably don't exercise as much as I should."
What we hear: "The walk from the parking structure to the clinic is the longest walk I've taken since my last visit."

What you say: "Do I need to get that test done today, or can it wait?"
What we hear: "Am I actually going to drop dead on the way out of the clinic, or can I forget all about this, forever and ever?"

What you say: "But what I really want to talk about is this other symptom that I've been having for the past twenty years, unchanged."
What we hear: "Here is an irrelevant distraction I'm going to mention, that's been going on so long that if it were important, it would have killed me already."

What you say: "Do you think this has anything to do with [radiation from my cell phone / lead paint in my office / a general sense of danger in the world]?
What we hear: "Here is an uninformed theory I have. It probably doesn't make any sense. It does, however, demonstrate that I watch the local news."

What you say: "My friend thinks I have--"
What we hear: "Here is more uninformed speculation. Try not to laugh."

What you say: "And I read online that--"
What we hear: "I am now going to prove that I have access to the Internet."

What you say: "I also take some [herbal medications / illegal drugs / pills that a friend gave me]--"
What we hear: "Here's something that I think is helping me, but is probably actually causing the problem."

What you say: "--but I don't remember the names of any of them."
What we hear: "--so I thought I would just waste your time and make you guess what I'm poisoning myself with."

What you say: "No, that's okay, I'll call for a follow-up appointment."
What we hear: "Goodbye, forever."


  1. Enjoying all the recent posts. Care to talk a bit about how its going with the new interns?

    Also, I am a medical student entering my second year and many of my peers feel pretty confident about what they want to do for a residency, I dont. I am not interested in surgery, and I like the diagnostic aspect of medicine. I am sort of thinking about pathology vs internal medicine. It seems like pathology is more focused on purely diagnostics, however histology is not a strength of mine. I would love to hear how you decided on internal medicine.


  2. Hmmm.This post read really jaded to me.

    Hope the patient demographics change for the better.