* * Anonymous Doc: Oh, just one more clinic patient

Monday, February 27, 2012

Oh, just one more clinic patient

"Doc, I know it's 5:00, but can you just see one more clinic patient? One of the interns is overbooked. This one's easy, she's just complaining of leg pain, no other problems, shouldn't take long."

"Uh, yeah, I guess. Sure, if it's a quick one."

"Definitely. Just leg pain."

I knock on the exam room and walk in.

The patient is in a wheelchair.

Both of her legs, amputated.

"You're here for..."

"No English..."

I call the translator phone.

"You're here for..."

"Leg pain."

"Your legs are..."

"Oh, yes. Pain where they used to be. Also, I may be pregnant. And I have a lump in my right breast. And a persistent cough. And night sweats. And panic attacks. And a mysterious sore on my genitals. And no feeling in my left hand. And I was hoping for a sleeping pill. And some allergy medicine. And I've never had any vaccinations. And a rabid raccoon may have bit me."

Okay, okay, I'm kidding about the last one.

An hour and a half later, I finish up with her.

Why are the last-minute add-ons always the most complicated patients ever?


  1. More important, why do seemingly intelligent people always fall for that old line of "it will just take a second."

  2. "Definitely. Just leg pain."

    haha. Just a leg pain indeed.lol. :)

    Peny@scrub uniforms