Plain Tales from the Surgery

Want a smoke?

I was asking a patient about his smoking habits when he asked me: 'Do you want a smoke, doctor?'

Clearly, I had not quite signposted why I was asking him.

Dr Kamal Sidhu, Hartlepool, Cleveland

Clear reports
When swine flu was at its peak there was a message in my book from the receptionist about a patient's symptoms. It read 'rang up yesterday when you had left, worried poos swine flu'.

I had heard a lot about this illness but this was a first, so I rang the patient. There was no mention of tummy upset and that's when I figured out that in all the excitement of the phones ringing non-stop she had meant to write 'worried, poss (possible) swine flu'.

Dr Shagufta Perveen, Oldham

Fishy problem
A patient well known to me came into my surgery explaining that she had developed 'those whales on my feet again, doctor'.

When I looked at her blankly she said: 'You know, when my skin cracks.'

I smiled and asked: 'Do you mean fissures?'

She laughed and said that she knew it was something to do with the sea.

Dr Sally McAleese, Morley, Leeds

Positive response
A depressed patient came in for her medication review and asked whether we should increase her dose of 'clittorapram'.

I know some patients respond well to antidepressants but I didn't think citalopram was so orgasmic.

Dr Asfia Aftab, Kings Heath, Birmingham

Allergy control
A patient recently popped in to see me about her teenage son's recent allergy testing.

She was delighted to inform me that he was no longer allergic to peanuts, but he still had quite a severe allergy to the histamine nut. She was, of course, referring to the positive control.

Dr Duncan Hugh, Weston-super-Mare, North Somerset

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