Plain Tales from the Surgery


I have just received a letter from our local cardiologist, which raised a smile. It read as follows:

'This gentleman attended for his elective permanent peacemaking system implant.'

I think that this could well be a procedure that many GPs feel should be more widely available on the NHS.

Dr Niall Riddell, Swallowfield, Berkshire


During a consultation, my secretary passed a note under my door that read: 'Mrs X's carer has requested a visit as she has ceased up'.

I duly performed a prompt home visit and was relieved to discover not a patient who was dead, but in fact one who was stuck on the toilet due to a combination of severe constipation and lower limb arthritis that had caused her to become seized up.

Dr Matthew Clark, Cranleigh, Surrey


Here in Scotland, we have a unique phrase that we use in legal documents, called a soul and conscience letter. This is accepted in law as a statement akin to a sworn declaration.

I received a letter from an Edinburgh solicitor whose secretary asked for a sole and conscious letter.

Enquiring if this was some form of statement from a flatfish, which was not KO-ed, I received a frozen-faced reply.

Dr Jack Mulhearn, Glasgow


A patient assured me he heard the following conversation from behind the screens of a nearby hospital bed. A man in his early thirties had come in for a routine hernia operation. While talking to a young doctor fresh from medical school, he said that for some time he had been unable to have sex with his wife.

So, keen as mustard in his new white coat, the house surgeon went through all the questions - angina, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, alcohol intake, medication - everything from prostate problems to piles.

'Do you have anything on your mind?' the doctor asked.

'No, just that I can't make love to my wife,' the patient replied.

'And you can't think why?'

'Oh yes,' said the man. 'For the past three years I've been in UK and my wife's been in India.'

Dr Pete Rowan, Diss, Norfolk.

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