A Sample Of The Local Community

, , , , , | Healthy | September 9, 2019

My doctor wrote up an order for some blood work. On my way in, I passed a mailbox mounted to the wall outside.

It can’t be confused with anything but a mailbox. It even has a little red flag to raise for outgoing mail.

The nurse who drew my blood told me that the mail carrier just walked inside and delivered the mail. The box was unused. Then, one day someone suspected that things were being put in the box. There was no key. It had to be forced open. 


People were using it for a specimen dropbox. Blood, urine, and stool samples in whatever jar someone felt like putting them in had been put in a black metal box in full Oklahoma summer heat — normally over 100F. Anyone besides me thinking, “How many people tried to tear off the sign and rip away the tape to insert some new sample?”

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Squeezing Them To See Things Your Way

, , , , , | Healthy | September 2, 2019

(I’m on the phone with someone who is trying to schedule an appointment they describe as urgent.)

Me: “We’re booked solid until next Friday but I can squeeze you in. It’d just be a shorter appointment.”

Patient: “What? Why?” 

Me: “Because we’re full and that’s the only way I could possibly fit you in, I’m afraid.”

Patient: “That’s completely unacceptable! I don’t want to be squeezed in! I need a full appointment! Book me for your soonest appointment right now!

Me: “Okay. Then the first day we can see you is [date two weeks from now]. Would noon work for you?”

Patient: *pause* “What does being squeezed in mean?”

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You Said It, Doc!

, , , | Healthy | August 31, 2019

(I have had some severe abdominal pain recently. My primary doc is unable to figure out what is going on so I am referred to a specialist. This is my first interaction with the specialist:)

Doctor: “So, who did you see before coming to me?”

Me: “My general practitioner.”

Doctor: “Your GP?” *he scoffs* “What a waste of time. Tell me, what sort of useless advice did he give you?”

Me: He told me to come and see you.”

Doctor: *nervously shifts in his chair and coughs*

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Unfiltered Story #160946

, | Unfiltered | August 28, 2019

(This conversation often happens happens when talking to patients.)

Me: Do you have any Medical History? Ex: problems with your heart, lungs, brain.
Patient: No, No problems.
Me: Do you take any medications?
Patients: Lists of Medications.
Me: So what do you take (Common med for medical conditions) for.
Patient: (Common medical conditions).

(Every time I have this conversation with a patient I want to face palm. How can you have no medical conditions and yet have a list of medications for said conditions.)

This Clinic Provides A Terrible Cervix

, , , , , | Healthy | August 23, 2019

While I was a student, it was fairly common to have student doctors learning at the campus clinic. I was getting my routine pap and was asked if I minded having a student do it, with the actual doctor supervising. When it comes to medical stuff I have no shame and have had positive experiences with student doctors in the past — they actually take a history, for one thing! I imagine a lot of people aren’t okay with students doing their pap. though, so all the more reason for me to let them practice.

So, I said I didn’t mind at all, the student introduced herself, and I got in position. She did fine with doing the physical exam and had no problem inserting the speculum. But then came time to swab my cervix. She was looking more and more stressed, and I reassured her she was doing fine and to take her time. A few more moments passed and she was still looking. I remember an offhand comment one of my previous doctors said — that my cervix is a bit off to the side — so I passed that hint along.

“I can’t find it! I can’t find the cervix!” she finally cried.

“I promise you it’s there! Keep looking!” I tried to reassure. Meanwhile, the actual doctor was clearly having issues keeping a straight face. I was still laying there spread eagle, still trying to comfort the professional poking around my lady bits.

The actual doctor took over, and my cervix is indeed off to the side. The student sat back down and the doctor gave her directions to my cervix. She finally found it and got the swab. Good thing, too, because I was also having a hard time keeping my laughter in.

After telling my friends the story of my “lost” cervix, one replied, “But… it’s not like it could get very far!”

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