Scalpel's Edge

A surgeon's notes

Dear non-doctor person

When you ask for a corridor consultation for the third time about a medical condition, it is time to go and see your GP. Really, when you have three different complications from the same condition, it is ok to get a medical assessment and treatment plan.

While I’m at it, prescription drugs aren’t evil. Sure, it is easier to deal with over the counter meds when you have a short term problem, but trying to treat long term medical conditions with OTCs is using a bandaid to stop the bleeding. Get some advice, and get some meds that will treat the disease process.

Furthermore, if you ask me for advice because I am a medical practitioner, please consider valuing that advice and imagining that I really mean it. I am sure that you would have no hesitation feeling grumpy if I made a mistake, so maybe you should value my advice above that of your neighbour’s son in law.

And you know what? I don’t enjoy signing statutory declarations, or certifying photos.. I know I can do it, and I always will if you ask. Maybe you can bring me chocolates next time.

And another thing, I don’t find your medical conditions interesting. Never again do I want to hear you say “Oh, you’d find this interesting, Cris” if it is followed by a description of any medical condition of yourself or anyone you know, that doesn’t include a Darwin award. Darwin awards are always interesting.

And I have to say, despite what I have already written, I will be insulted if you see me every day and you don’t ask me to help you when someone you love is desperately ill. I have limited skills to help people I care about, and explaining medical disasters is one of them. Don’t take that away from me.

And finally, I would like to apologize. Sometimes the things that irritate me don’t make sense. Sometimes they relate to the last person that asked that, not to you. I like to think I hide my irritation well, but I know that is a fiction. So just let me keep this tirade, and my sanity.

8 responses to “Dear non-doctor person”

  1. dreamingspires says:

    do you mean to say medical practitioners aren’t put on this earth soley to deal with my afflictions? They have feelings? Good god!

    Can I tell you about my red eye, my grandfather has glaucoma and…..

  2. mumof2 says:

    Having a good day at work I would suspect?????

  3. Cris says:

    @mumof2: I am now!

  4. dragonfly says:

    Darwin awards can be terrifying (yet funny) in their tragedy. Sometimes you can only shake your head…
    And I struggle with my non medical family who still don’t understand that I am not a doctor (yet) and not their doctor. And no I do not want my number given you to your colleagues daughter for her to discuss her pap smear results with. The doctor who performed the pap (or signed the path form while the practice nurse did it) can do that.
    (True story, you cannot make this stuff up).

  5. Cris says:

    @dragonfly: “You will find this interesting…” always runs a shiver down my back! Once I was trapped talking about pelvic varicosities for an awfully long time.

  6. DrGourmet says:

    I have a policy and always state it clearly: “I don’t treat any patient in the hall. If you want me to take care of you come to the office. Because you likely work with me or know me I’ll fit you in quickly. Medicine on the fly is dangerous.”

    Good for you for standing your ground.

  7. Cris says:

    @DrGourmet: Unfortunately, I have no office hours at the moment, so it is difficult to redirect. However, most of my advice tends to end up being “That is realy something that it’s ok to see a doctor about…”

  8. […] Dr. Cris does this when she rants about people who try to take advantage of the fact that she is a doctor. […]

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