Plain Tales from the Surgery

Over exposure
A young lady came to see me recently with a vaginal discharge. I gave her some metronidazole but she returned two days later to say the problem had not cleared up.

I advised her to stick it out for a little bit longer.

At this, she replied: 'Not bloody likely, that's how it all started in the first place.'

For once I was at a loss for words.

Dr David Jenkins, Carmarthenshire

Exam is child's play
As a GP registrar, practising consultation skills for the MRCGP exam, I suddenly realised I had gone too far.

I had left my eight-year-old son with a friend and phoned her to find out how he was doing while I was at work. She passed the phone to him.

'Do you have any worries, hopes, expectations or beliefs?' I asked him.

'No,' was the simple reply.

'Well is there anything else you are worried about or wish to discuss with me today?'

No again. Well, I said, in that case, we can 'continue the same'. I was clearly ready for the video part of the exam.

Dr Amita Singh, Liverpool

Repeat offender
Patients from other professions have a lingo of their own. Last Friday a judge came to see me in the evening surgery.

In order to break the ice, I said: 'Hello, how are you doing?'

'I have been doing care for the last two weeks,' he said, then added with an impish smile: 'Back to crime on Monday.'

Dr Kausar Jafri, Stoke-on-Trent

Dead silence
I recently had to view a body in the hospital to complete a cremation form.

I called the mortuary but there was no answer, so switchboard picked up the call. I explained the problem and the operator tried other lines with no success.

She was taken aback but amused when I asked whether there was anyone alive in there.

I decided to drop by in person later on. I knocked politely but there was no response. However a handwritten sign on the door read: 'If there is no body in the office please ring the bell.'

Dr Simon Hodes, Watford, Hertfordshire

Colour coding
An elderly lady recently consulted me with a Baker's cyst and asked whether I could simply 'stab it with a needle'.

I said there were some big blood vessels at the back of the knee, to which she replied: 'So my trousers might quickly change colour, as might yours - a different colour for a different reason.'

Dr Matt Clark, Cranleigh, Surrey.

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