Plain tales from the surgery

Quality of life

An elderly couple came to see me in the surgery.

'Doctor,' said the wife, 'would you tell my husband to go for a walk every morning. I read in a ladies' magazine that if he does this he will live 10 years more.'

Her husband interrupted: 'Would you tell my wife that if she stopped nagging me I will live 20 years more.'

Dr Hari Nawal, Bedford, Bedfordshire

Hair of the ... bear
Typographical errors on hospital correspondence can often make a dull morning surgery more entertaining. So I was tickled while reading an out-of-hours report that stated that a patient had felt generally unwell after going out and having a few bears. No wonder he was feeling a bit grizzly.

Dr Stephen Tomkinson, Fallowfield, Manchester

Stand up here please
In the days before a chaperon was necessary, a young man consulted me with a strange rash on his penis. Not having seen a rash like it before and not knowing the diagnosis, he agreed to let me photograph it to send to the consultant dermatologist.

Unfortunately, I did not have a flash on my camera, so he stood on my desk near the window, at which point my GP partner walked into the room.

The astonishment on his face said all that was necessary.

Dr Sheila Edwards, Chinley, High Peak

Head like a sieve
A woman came to see me, accompanied by her daughter, for her chest symptoms. After examining her and writing the scrip, I checked the case notes and glanced at the last letter from the psychiatrist. He had mentioned that 'unfortunately your patient did not attend the memory clinic'.

'It seems you did not go to see the consultant last month?' I asked gently.

'I forgot about it, doctor,' she replied.

I struggled to suppress my smile at the irony, but noticed her daughter laughing loudly.

Dr Anand Deshpande, Westhoughton, Lancashire

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