As a Doctor, I come across different type of people every single day of my life. One such type is I. I often wonder what other people might be thinking about me. Between meeting, examining and sending off people, I always try to make mental notes about people. That helps on follow up visits.
History helps a lot in diagnosis and management of almost all the illnesses. That is an integral part of a Physician’s practice which should not be given a go by. Most of the times, a good Doctor can make a fairly good provisional diagnosis just going by the history.
I plan to dwell upon some of the funny incidents that have happened in my practice. This need not be a single post because this is a continuous process. So I plan to write this as a series and hope it works!
Past not so Perfect!
Past history or the details about any short or long term illnesses a person might have suffered is an important part of the history. So I always give some time to elicit this in detail. Some people are forthright and meticulous, some are anxious and unclear and some are absolute riots. There is no fun in the regular ones. So most of what I am recalling here are anecdotes involving uncommon types.
One 45 year old gentleman was a bit too grumpy. He wasn’t even coming out with his main complaints. When I asked him, “Why did you come to the hospital?” He quipped, “To see you!” Wow! So I asked again, “So what are your complaints?” He was back again, “What complaints? Is this a Police Station?” I tried to reason with him, “No, it is like what kind of problem do you have?” He was at his best now, “What problems? I have a million problems and I don’t think you can solve any of them” Now this was the maximum I could take. So I retorted, “Okay, what kind of health related problem has brought you here? I hope you understand you are in a hospital in front of a Doctor and this place certainly doesn’t look like a Police Station!” Now he mellowed down and came out, “Actually I had chest pain this morning and I am worried it could be a heart attack”. So there we are; this was just an anxious first timer who didn’t know how to express!
Here is the other extreme of a veteran of several visits to the Doctor. This was a particularly impressive and intelligent 76 year old retired Port Trust employee. He knew me before and I too had seen him in the past. While going through his obese and well rounded medical case file, I was surprised to note that he had consulted almost all the Doctors on our hospital faculty. So I quipped to him, “Well, you have been very loyal and regular with our hospital and I can see you have consulted all the consultants”. From Physician, Cardiologist, Neurologist, Urologist and Skin Specialist to ENT Surgeon and Eye Specialist; every Doctor’s name was there on his file. There was a mischievous smile on his face when he replied, “You are almost right Sir, Dr. Rajakumari Madam is the only Doctor I have not consulted in this hospital”. That my dear friends, was our Gynecologist!
With an introduction to this topic of Historical Importance, I stop here and hope to continue this series. I also hope I will be able to manage a decent job of narrating some really funny incidents that made me wink, smile, grin and even laugh out loudly, and most importantly... Think!
To be continued... Hopefully !