Plain tales from the surgery

A fishy story 

Sometimes, conversations with patients can cause really odd mental images.  

I was talking to a lady about her husband’s familial adenomatous polyposis coli, and she mentioned that his last colonoscopy was three years ago.  

She then went on to say that, at that time, they ‘removed several large porpoises from his bowel’.  

Even though our practice does happen to be by the coast, I believe she meant to say ‘polyps’. At least, I hope so.  

Dr Stephanie Hughes  

Curdridge, Hampshire  

Tricky questions  

Our GP asked our receptionist to devise a new patients health questionnaire.  

Some of the questions that appeared on the questionnaire asked whether the patient had had a smear test, when it had been done and where.  

This new form was used by many patients for more than two months without a hitch, until one lady returned her form the other day. Her answers were recorded as follows:  

Have you had a smear test? Yes.  

When did you have it done? 12 June 2005.  

Where did you have it done? In my private parts.  

The poor receptionist then had to spend the next half hour shredding the remaining unused forms and the last I heard she had asked the neighbouring practice to send her a health questionnaire form.  

Dave Rajaratnam  

Nurse practitioner  

Wallington, Surrey  

Disco fever  

I was on duty a few years ago and another GP had seen a 14-year-old girl with a purpuric rash on the front of her thighs and had sent her to A&E.  

The girl was seen by one of the SHOs and he asked my opinion as to the rash; both the GP and the SHO were worried that it may have been meningococcal.  

The rash was very similar to meningococcal purpura. It was confined to the front of the thighs, being about 12cm by 8cm on each.  

The girl was otherwise well. Eventually I enquired as to the activities prior to the appearance of the rash.  

The penny dropped when she told me that she had been to the school disco. The rash was certainly a purpura, caused by slapping the top of her legs in time to the music.  

Dr Stephen Fox  

Leigh, Lancashire   


Our GP practice seems to reflect our multicultural society.  

I asked one new patient if he could read the fourth line on the reading chart.  

To which he replied: ‘I came from that town in Poland’.  

Dr Martin Harris  

North west London 

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