Need Some Protective Services From That Nurse

, , , , , | Healthy | August 30, 2018

(I’ve just had my first child. I went into labor at night and he was born just after midnight. My boyfriend manages to get the next morning off, but as he’s the assistant manager of a dock, he has to go in the next afternoon. I’m not worried, as there’s not much concern for me or my son. The next day, my OBGYN comes in.)

Doctor: “Hey, [My Name], how are you feeling?”

Me: “Still sore. Is everything all right?”

Doctor: “Oh, yeah. I just want to let you know that a nurse wanted me to call Child Protection Services for you.”

(I freak out a bit, but he laughs.)

Doctor: “Don’t worry; I won’t. Apparently, because of your boyfriend having to go to work, she didn’t think you guys were capable of taking care of your son. It’s pretty stupid.”

(I relaxed after that. My son came home a day later and, with some help from friends, we had no problems with taking care of him.)

The CDC Will Shut This Place Down For The Worst Juvenile Hypochondria It’s Ever Seen

, , , , , , | Healthy | June 29, 2018

(Overheard between a pediatrician and a seven-year-old patient:)

Pediatrician: “Look, [Child], you learned more about [disease] on your own; that’s a good thing! It’s very smart to learn all about your health. And, you found out online that we always tell the CDC when someone has [disease]. I think it’s very good when people learn about how we keep track of disease. But from now on, calling the CDC is my job, not yours.”

Weak In The Knees

, , , , , | Healthy | June 14, 2018

(I have gone to my general practitioner to get a referral to a specialist for endometriosis. My regular GP is a middle-aged, Singaporean man, but I don’t mind having male doctors for female issues.)

Me: “I’m seeing [Specialist] for endometriosis, and I need a referral.”

GP: “You realise that you’ll have to have surgery to know for sure?”

Me: “Yes, I have a family history.”

GP: “Okay, I just have to make sure that you have a reason to go. Do you have painful periods?”

Me: “Yes, definitely.”

GP: “So, it hurts in your abdomen region? Is it cramping, or other pain?”

Me: “Actually, my knees hurt.”

GP: “Come again?”

Me: “I get pain from my knees up during my period. But it’s worst in my knees.”

GP: “Really?” *chuckles* “All right, just give me a minute to write that referral.”

(I honestly hadn’t realised how weird it was, before that. I did end up having endometriosis — it turned out the knee pain was nerve damage from that.)

As Long As You Don’t Have Any Blue Tits

, , , , , , , | Healthy | June 7, 2018

(My stepmum has been unwell for a few months and has been on a number of different antibiotics. Her symptoms aren’t improving, so she goes back to the doctor and my dad goes with her. During the examination, the following takes place.)

Doctor: “I’m going to put you on a stronger antibiotic, but before I do that, I want to make sure you haven’t had reactions to the antibiotic you’re currently on. Have you had any headaches or trouble sleeping?”

Stepmum: “No. I’m tired from the illness, but I have no trouble sleeping.”

Doctor: “Okay, and any stomach issues?”

Stepmum: “No, that’s fine, too.”

Doctor: “Great. Now, this might be a bit sensitive, but have you had any thrush?”

Stepmum: *looks at my dad, confused* “No, but I have a parrot at home!”

Dad: *nearly peeing his pants with laughter* “He’s means a yeast infection, not a bird!”

Finding Chemo

, , , | | Hopeless | May 27, 2018

(I’m a pre-med student shadowing a doctor to get some experience before I apply to medical school. We’re in the back office, where the doctors all convene at the end of the day to go over their patients and any potential problems or things that need coordinating. The doctor I’m shadowing is [Doctor #1].)

Doctor #1: “Here’s a problem, guys. This patient needs five rounds of chemotherapy, and now, four rounds in, his insurance decides they aren’t covering it, and he definitely can’t afford it on his own.”

Doctor #2: “That’s bulls***. Give me the case file. I’ll drop it with [Office Social Worker], and if she doesn’t have the insurance company begging to pay for it within three days, she’s not the magician I think she is.”

Doctor #3: “What if it takes longer, though? He’s scheduled to get his last round on Friday, four days from now.”

Doctor #1: “If it looks like it’ll take longer, we give him the chemo, anyway. If the insurance comes through, we’ll forward-date it to the time when he’s covered. If [Office Social Worker] just can’t make it happen, though, we give him the chemo, anyway, and request a round from [Free Charity Hospital] to be delivered here, since he’s getting all his stuff done here. It’ll take a few weeks for it to be delivered, but our next inventory isn’t for a month. That’ll give us time to get it into our system so our numbers match. One way or another, this guy is getting his chemo on Friday.”

(Later, as we’re getting ready to leave, I ask:)

Me: “Should I have been in the room for that? It’s not really fraud, but altering the dates on the paperwork is definitely not something they’ll go over in med school.”

Doctor #1: “That’s exactly why I wanted you in the room for that discussion. That’s a thing you need to learn early and well: how to get your patients the care they need, even when the paperwork or the insurance isn’t exactly right. None of what we were discussing was completely kosher, but it wasn’t completely illegal, either, and more importantly, it’s the right thing to do. Your job as a doctor is to take care of your patients, no matter what else gets in the way.”

(It was an important lesson, and one I learned well. I’m starting my residency now, and at least once a week, I find myself wondering, “What would [Doctor #1] do?” It’s yet to steer me wrong!)

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