Plain Tales from the Surgery

Feeding frenzy

A mother of a nine-month-old child asked for an urgent home visit, complaining that 'the child had not been feeding for two days and was unwell'.

At the house I found a happy, plump child on the floor with a mouthful of food. She was being fed four slices of bread with butter and jam, a bowl of cereal, a bowl of scrambled egg, a bottle of fruit puree and one of milk.

The child's examination findings were all normal. Was that food for two days all in one go?

Dr Aditya Shah, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

Placebo effect
A patient of mine wrote in to request a repeat prescription of a well known non-steroidal anti-inflammatory gel.

His note asked for a tube of 'I believe gel'.

It is great to see so much faith being put in our treatments.

Dr Hue Morris, Hove, East Sussex

Mistaken identity
Having an unusual surname when working in medicine can be a blessing as well as a curse.

Colleagues and patients may remember you more easily, but you run the risk of having your name misdiagnosed in embarrassing circumstances.

Having the surname 'Wander' has caused much confusion throughout my career; I have been called everything from the exotic-sounding 'Dr Wonga' to the chocolatey 'Dr Wonka' - not forgetting the inevitable 'Fish called...' film jokes over the years - but a recent letter regarding a patient's Work Capability Assessment took the biscuit by addressing me as 'Dr Wanker'.

I am just hoping that this version doesn't catch on with the patients!

Dr Adam Wander, North London

Choose and charm
We have all had a good laugh from time to time when the Choose and Book system has thrown up an appropriate, or perhaps inappropriate password.

My favourite was for a rather large lady patient of mine, which came up as 'beach peach'.

We both had a good laugh at that one.

Dr Pat Sutlieff, Reading, Berkshire

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