How Not to Talk with a Doctor

While I’m Scribing, it is key for me to understand exactly why the patient is in the ER and provide an accurate history describing their illness. This is often difficult as patients are often terrible providing a coherent history.

Thus leading to this post by Ten out of Ten, outlining many different types of patients and how they mess up such a simple task. Ten states, “Maybe 1 patient in 10 manages to concisely describe their issue and stick to yes/no answers.”

The post is incredibly entertaining and it’s worth taking the time to read the whole thing. Beware though, you may find a bit of yourself in some of these descriptions. Here are a couple of my favorites:

Me: “Do you take insulin or pills for your diabetes?”
Patient: “Well, at first they put me on a diet, and told me to exercise, and I did for a few days anyway and at first it seemed like maybe it helped a little bit, but then I guess it got worse, so they put me on a pill…what was it called…metop-o-nin…metamucil…formethorin…no…metlife?”
Me: “Metformin.”
Patient: “Yes! Metformin! So anyway they put me on that at first and I was getting it filled and then there was a problem with my insurance so I had to switch to a different pharmacy and that one was way farther away and the people there were not nearly as nice, except for Lula although now that I think about it she didn’t even work there, she worked at the Marshall’s across the street — I think it was a Marshall’s, either Marshall’s or Ross I can’t remember, which reminds me I need to take those shoes back, um, so…uh…where was I now?”
Me: “Um, insulin or pills?”

Wanderers are the worst. I usually end up afraid to ask any more questions and cut the conversation short.

Me: “Have you had fever?”
Patient: “No, but chills.”
Me: “Vomiting?”
Patient: “No, but I feel like I need to.”
Me: “Surgery on your belly?”
Patient: “No, but I’ve had my tonsils out.”
Me: “Heart problems?”
Patient: “No, but my mom’s a diabetic.”

The no/buts cannot bring themselves to stop at no. Do I need these extraneous details? No, but my knee is a little achy today.

Have I ever read a post so entertaining? No, but my memory is a little hazy today.

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