Saturday, April 21, 2007

"Hit the patient" . . . ?!, and, My Dashing Clinic Partner

Doctor, to my clinic partner: "Go take the patient's pulse. And he's being uncooperative today, so if he objects, just... just... smack him."

My family practice preceptor has been described as "an odd duck."

The description, I believe, is accurate.

Fortunately, I have had the pleasure of being accompanied to clinic by my breathtakingly beautiful and stunningly intelligent clinic partner (whom I'll refer to as "Kristine," for her privacy), who is in fact the sole reason I look forward so much to the 35-minute drive to our clinic location. My clinic afternoon is always filled with brilliant and hilarious conversation to and from our clinic, as well as a number of knowing looks behind the back of our preceptor when he is acting inept / absent-minded / odd / just plain insane. This post is a story about our preceptor acting in such a way.

Actually, I'm killing two birds here. Not only is this post about our i/a-m/o/j.p.i. preceptor (I'm getting the hang of turning everything into an abbreviation, as doctors apparently like to d0), but it will also co-feature my clinic partner Kristine. On occasion she has been known to read this blog, and has been begging for some time to be featured in a vignette herein. I am happy to finally give her the honour.

Before you think my preceptor is unfit to practice, let me just explain some things. His sense of humour is very...different, and he has known a lot of his patients for years and they have a lot of respect for him, which was surprisingly evident in every interaction they have with him. So, though you may be shocked by some of the things that you will see below (as I was), remember that in a lot of respects this is like old friends joking around and I am under the impression that the doctor knows when such antics are appropriate. That being said, if you still think it is inappropriate, well, that is your right as a human being, and I will definitely not be surprised.

Explanations and disclaimers having been issued, here, in abbreviated form, I present some gems from our time together, our meaning Kristine, me and the preceptor.

  • Doctor, to patient: "[Student] will now give you your immunization"
    (Student = either Vitum or Kristine. Identity protected for student's privacy.)
    "But I have never given a needle before!"
    Patient: [looking terrified, about to object, but interrupted by doctor...]
    Doctor: "Aaaaaand... GO."

  • Students, to doctor: "Shouldn't you wear gloves while you remove these staples from a scabby infected surgical wound?"
    Doctor: "Oh, that's right. Do as I say, not as I do."
    We've turned our doctor into a hand-washer. We never used to see him washing his hands

  • Vitum, interviewing patient: "And did you experience any other pain after that?"
    Patient: "No, none."
    Doctor, to patient: "Tell Vitum the truth."
    Patient: "What?! I am telling the truth."
    Doctor: "No, you're NOT. (almost shouting) Tell him."
    Vitum: (shocked)
    Patient: "Oh, that's right, there was this one other time..."

  • Vitum, trying to show off his stunning powers of observation: "Why does our preceptor have a painting titled Porcupines Mating on his wall!?"
    Kristine: "It says Porcupine MOTHER"
    Vitum: (to himself) "I need to wear my glasses more..."

  • Preceptor (to patient): "Dr. Vitum will see you now"
    Vitum (to Kristine): "Did he just call me

  • Preceptor (to patient): "Vitemme will see you now"
    Kristine (to Vitum): "Did he just call me a female version of your name?"


    Anonymous said...

    That sounds almost as good as my experiences with him last semester. Has he told you to re-cap your needles after using them on a patient yet?

    Anonymous said...

    Wow Vitum, that's a pretty big shout out