Plain Tales from the Surgery

Fit for a president

A patient proudly told me that he had been diagnosed with an 'inaugural hernia'. I presume it was so impressive that when the examination curtains were drawn back in the outpatient department, he received a round of applause from staff.

Dr Alan Greenwood, Warminster, Wiltshire

Guilty conscience
Just as I was about to play golf, I took a call asking me to attend a patient urgently. I pulled on my black coat to cover my golfing T-shirt and headed to the psychiatric hospital, where an 85-year-old man had been admitted after hitting out at the nurses.

He took one look at me and yelled: 'Nurse, please don't tell the priest about me!' The nurse tried to reassure him that he was in hospital and that I was the doctor (despite my black coat), but he wouldn't accept it, begging: 'Please no! I've heard his sermon before.'

Dr Kausar Jafri, Meir, Stoke-on-Trent

Mystery diagnosis
During our palliative care meeting, we noted an unusual diagnosis of one of our patients who was listed as having an 'autistic neuroma'. It provoked a few laughs, and an intense blush from our medical student summariser.

Dr Kevin Tipper, Chorley, Lancashire

Basic repairs
Having referred a female patient to the gynaecologist, I was impressed with his speedy reply.

The specialist said he was writing back promptly to ensure my patient didn't 'fall between two stools'. This didn't so much conjure up images of an operating theatre but of a workshop complete with nails and sawdust on the floor. Perhaps NHS cost-saving has gone a little too far?

Dr Jeremy Hollands, Bridport, Dorset

Spousal insight
A patient told me her husband had had his operation and was now in the 'high deficiency unit' (he was doing as well as could be expected - given his shortcomings).

Dr Michael Cooke, Halesowen, West Midlands

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