Plain tales from the surgery

Put the squeeze on

Mr Smith, a pleasant 82-year-old man, came to see me about his urinary symptoms. His concerned sister had already written a letter to us regarding the same problem and requested that we see him as he was not too keen to see the doctor.

When questioned, he denied that he had any problems but after I had asked him a few more questions he responded saying that it took him half an hour to pass urine. He then stood up and showed me in action how he has to press on his forehead with both hands to start the flow, then on either side of his nose and the back of the neck. He told me he did not see a reason in seeing the doctor as he knows how to put pressure on his 'urine centres'.
Dr Daksha Gowda, Redcar, Cleveland

Fixing the people
I occasionally get a wrong number put through to the telephone on the desk of my consulting room. Recently one such caller asked: 'Is that the repairs department?'

I informed him politely that he had dialled the wrong number and ended the call, but it did cross my mind afterwards that GP surgeries are so often repair departments, and that if I'd explored further this potential patient's opening gambit it may not have been a wrong number after all.
Dr Richard Edwards, Castle Vale, Birmingham

The bum steer
I saw a young man with anal pain and bleeding. I gave him a prescription for some cream along with some advice. A few weeks later he came to see me again to say he was feeling back to normal but was worried because he had been checking his motions, but hadn't yet seen 'the fish'.

He left with a huge smile of relief when I explained I had said it was an anal fissure.
Dr Philip Reynolds, Cirencester, Gloucestershire

Personalised disease
On enquiring about a patient's medical history, she said that 'my breast cancer was diagnosed on a monogram'; presumably the tumour had a signature.
Dr Anthony Marks, Enfield, London

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