* * Anonymous Doc: Great consult, just one problem...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Great consult, just one problem...

Called an ID (infectious disease) consult on a patient. The guy comes in, a little harried, grabs me and we head over to the patient's bedside--

"So, Mr. Patient, good afternoon. I'm from the infectious disease department, your doctor called me in because we're concerned about your intermittent fevers, your white blood cell count has been elevated--"

I try to interrupt. "Excuse me, I--"

"No, no, I'm in a bit of a rush, so let me just finish-- Your doctor brought me up to speed on your situation, so I know we're dealing with a bit of a cough, and you were complaining of a sore throat. Interrupt me if you're currently experiencing any of the symptoms I start naming--"

"Excuse me, just--"

"Come on, let me finish with him-- okay, stomach pain, headache, chills, any sort of bone pain, just stop me if you're experiencing any of this--"

"Doctor, he doesn't--"

"I see, he doesn't seem to be having any of these problems. Well, I think for now we're just going to monitor, and let me know if you have any questions--"

"Sir, he can't--"

"I want him to talk for himself. If he doesn't have any questions, Dr. Resident, you and I can do the rest of this over the phone a little later. Mr. Patient, it was great to meet you, I'll check back tomorrow."

We walk out of the room.

"Well, that was easy."

"Sure, and thanks for the consult. Except what I was trying to tell you in there-- the patient doesn't understand English."

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