Ramblings of an Emergency Physician in Texas
me: "When did you last get a tetanus shot?"
patient: "Uh, last time I was in the Pen; it was either ’97 or ’98."
me: "Thanks. You’ll need another, then."
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CC: “no period for 3 months” also some nausea
me: “did you consider pregnancy?”
her: quizically “no”
me: “are your sexually active?”
me: “do you use any form of birth control?”
me: “then you could be pregnant”
A quick ultrasound showed a 16 weeker flopping around. Poor little kid.
Jerry, your conversation reminds me of one I had when I was the patient seeing a gynecologist who was filling in while my regular GYN was on vacation. It was about 15 years ago when I was in my late 30s.
CC: No period for over 4 months, low back and leg pains.
GYN: “Do you take BC pills?”
GYN: “I see your married, so I’m assuming you have sex?”
Me: “Yes, I do”
GYN: “Well then, I can just about tekll you before we do an exam that your pregnant.”
Me: “I better not be”
GYN: “Why’s that?”
Me: “My husband had a vascetomy almost 15 years ago”..(I had been happily married for almost 20 years at this time)
GYN: *Smiling*, “Oh, I suppose you’re now going to tell me that your husband is the only man you are EVER with?”
Me: *Shocked* “As a matter of fact that is exactly what I’m going to tell you.”
GYN: “OK, Then your husband is going to be real surprised later today, when you inform him, that you just found out that he has been shooting blanks all these years.”
This was the one and only time in my life that I really wanted to slap a Dr. in the face. How dare any physician speak that way, especially to another Drs. patients. A patient he had never seen before in his life.
Anyway, he proceded with his exam and informed me that I was absolutely right, “You aren’t pregnant.”
The bottom line was that I had a thyroid problem that had caused the absent periods. I have never forgotten this Drs. rudeness or arrogance. The only time in my life that I was ever treated or talked too like a whore, and, it was by a physician.
Bubba!! I love it.
Kind of like when I was interviewing a guy for a job. I asked him why there was a three year gap in his employnment record, He said it was because he didn’t know if three years in TDOC (Texas Dept. of Corrections) counted as unemployment or employment…he made furniture, I think he said.
I found a more suitable candidate!
Oh! and when I was stationed in California my base commander use to brag that he made a special effort to hire kids who qualified as “socially challenged” by the state. He wasn’t so happy when I told him that “socially challenged” meant that the kids had been convicted of two or more felonies.
When I worked in primary care at the VA one of my physician colleagues (a former Army doc) said that there had never been a case of tetanus in someone that had been previously been vaccinated. This statement was made when there was relative shortage of the vaccine and we were not giving them routinely.
Have you heard this? Any idea if it is true?
The only case of tetanus that I have ever seen was many years ago in LAC/USC’s ICU – using today’s parlance – in an “immigrant” who had not been vaccinated.
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