* * Anonymous Doc: She's bleeding from where?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

She's bleeding from where?

Oh, interns.

One of my interns pages me. "We have a major problem with the patient in 1218."

"I thought she just has a cough."

"Yeah, yeah, but there was blood on her gown. And she said it was coming from, uh, you know."

"No, I don't know."

"Her, uh, you know."

"No, I don't know."

"Her private parts."

"We can use the word vagina."

"Okay, yeah. That. So I did a pelvic exam, and there's like, bleeding."


"I don't know why she's bleeding, why there, I thought we're just working her up for a cough, I don't know what to do-- the chest x-ray was okay, but do we need to do a CT? I haven't seen this before, so I don't know."

[I go in to see the patient, have a little chat with her. Turn back to my intern.]

"Congratulations. You just diagnosed our patient with menstruation."


  1. why are they so afraid to ask questions? how else do they expect to gather such information? sillies.

  2. The stupidity of some people is boundless.

  3. I am not sure whether to laugh or cringe.

  4. she was admitted for just a cough?

  5. I genuinely hope that this intern was male.

    Not that it *should* matter, but if they are females of menstruating age... goodness gracious.

  6. or females of any age...

    No matter what, They chose not to say vagina?

  7. Wow. Just - wow. It's almost as bad as the time that my team got paged by a female resident because her patient had "a hole down there" and she couldn't do a pelvic exam because she "wouldn't even know what to look for." Geez....

  8. I'm more horrified by his(please tell me it was a man) refusal to say "vagina." But I work with residents (pathology, which attracts some...interesting people), so I'm no longer surprised when confronted with the lack of common sense and sometimes outright stupidity of what are supposed to extremely intelligent people.

    This reminds me of the time my grandmother was in a sub-acute facility after a minor stroke. I had gone to visit her, and noticed that she wasn't in her usual high spirits. I asked what wrong, and she said she wasn't feeling well, that she was bleeding vaginally. I asked her if she had told her nurse, and she said yes. I went to find the nurse. I told her that my grandmother claimed she was bleeding vaginally. The nurse replied, with a smile and a cheerful voice, "I know! She has her period."

    Me: "Do you come across many 76 year old women who still menstruate?"

    Nurse, still with the cheerfulness: "Oh, she doesn't look 76!"

    I took her several seconds to realize that the expression on my face was pure rage.