Plain tales from the surgery


I recently told an elderly lady that the cause of her red, hot leg was an infection called cellulitis.

She looked a little taken aback at this and commented that she was a bit old to worry about wearing a bikini. Now I was the one to be puzzled.

'Well, it's just what young women get on their thighs,' she explained.

A further explanation cleared up the difference between cellulite and cellulitis.

Dr Stephen Tomkinson, Fallowfield, Manchester


Our practice is in a deprived area and many of our patients have a degree of learning disability.

At a recent practice meeting to discuss the results of a practice survey, it was suggested that a high percentage of the patients either were unable to read at all or had significant difficulties understanding the written word.

One partner, who wishes to remain anonymous, suggested putting the following comment on top of the survey: 'If you are unable to read this survey please ask for help at reception'.

After everybody had stopped laughing, the partner in question realised why we were so amused.

Brenda Butler (on behalf of the partners), Widnes, Cheshire


Our local orthopaedic surgeons had tackled a knee replacement on Mrs Hefty, a well-covered senior citizen, and their notes reported excessive 'oedipus' tissue. Orthopaedic surgeons taking the psychological approach?

Wonders will never cease.

Dr Fran Pullen, Chepstow, Monmouthshire


I was trying to sort out a cremation form on a patient. The body was being kept at 'Scotmids Funeral Parlour' and a helpful receptionist had looked up the telephone number for me.

On phoning, I spoke to a young man and told him that I wanted to check that he had the body of one of my patients.

'Is this a radio wind-up?' he asked. 'Let me just go and check the meat counter.'

I was somewhat baffled, but then found out that in Scotland, Scotmid has various different businesses - one being a funeral service and another being a local supermarket.

Dr Shona Williamson, Edinburgh.

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