"Me Time!"

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Humor in the Clinic

on May 21, 2013


“Aaaack! They’re coming!” we scream as we see wide-eyed, eager freshmen trooping towards our door.  Yes, it’s enrollment time once again and an average of 50 to 100 freshmen mob me daily for their baseline medical history and physical exam.  Despite the dizziness, near-fainting episodes, body pain, hoarseness, gastritis (due to missed meals), UTI (due to infrequent pee breaks) and varicose veins (due to prolonged standing/sitting) that this brings, we still get to see the humor in our job.

SCENARIO 1:  Students filling out the medical form.

Student A:  Status: In a relationship.

Student B:  Status:  It’s complicated.

Student C:  Sex:  2x a week.

Student D:  Personal history, other diseases: Romantic heart disease.

SCENARIO 2:  During the interview.

Dentist: “What’s your phone…” (was not able to finish her sentence)

Student:  Says with pride, “Samsung!”

Me:  “What’s your number?” (student left the contact number blank)

Student: “I’m sorry Doc, I already have a girlfriend!”

SCENARIO 3:  The visual acuity test.

Nurse:  “Cover your eye and read the letters from the chart.”

Student:  Covers BOTH eyes.

Nurse:  “Kindly read the letters on the 8th line.”

Student 1:  “defpotec!!!”  (read as D-E-F-P-O-T-E-C)

Student 2:  “8!”

SCENARIO 4:  The audiometric exam.

Young Nurse:  “You have to press the button when you hear a sound so that the bulb will light up, okay?”

Student:  Nods.

5 minutes later and the student has not pressed the button after the nurse’s numerous attempts.

Young Nurse:  Repeats the instructions.  “Let’s try again!”

5 minutes later, still no pressing of the button or lighting of the bulb.


Student:  Eyes brimming with tears.

Senior Nurse:  Says to no one in particular while writing on the logbook,  “Oh by the way, I forgot to plug in the audio! Can somebody plug that in?”

SCENARIO 5:  During the physical examination.

Me: “Okay, I will now listen to your heart.”

Student:  “Oh no Doc, I’m brokenhearted!”

Doctor 2:  Checking the ears of a male Marine Engineering student, “Okay son, good news, your hymen is intact.”

Student:  Confused.

Doctor 2: “Oh my, I’m sorry!  I mean your eardrums are intact.”

SCENARIO 6:  Checking the throat.

Student comes in with a giant purse and sits on the chair beside my table waiting for her physical exam.

Me:  Woozy and near-syncopal after examining a huge wave of students.  “Okay, are you ready? Open…your bag.”

Student: Bewildered but opened her bag anyway.

Me:  “Oh I’m sorry!!! Open your mouth!”

Laughs from all around the clinic.

It’s still true… Laughter is the BEST medicine.  Thank God!


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