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I’d Have Rather Had Dr. Greg House

Today, I went to my family doctor to see whether I had strep throat or something else. Turns out the doctor just believes I have laryngitis, which is fine. Gargle with salt, take some steroids, the usual.

I've had a light cough when I wake up or lay down in bed for the past month. I thought it had gone away two weeks ago, but it came roaring back this past week as I was out of town, got little sleep, and had a lot of physical stresses (lots of heat, bad eating schedule, lots of exercise).

The doctor - and the nurse before him - both had med students shadowing them. The next time someone asks if a medical student can observe, I'm going to say no. Both the nurse and the doctor treated me like I was two, constantly talking down to me and describing simple things like what "laryngitis" was ("laryngitis is an inflammation - which means swelling - of the larynx, which is the part of your throat that helps you control speech. Some people call these the "vocal cords"… etc.). He told me it was likely brought on by the coughing, and when I asked "well, what brought on the coughing and yellow phlegm?" he said "it should clear up soon."

So my one valid question was dismissed, yet I was told in detail things most fifth-graders probably know. As the title suggests, I'd rather deal with Dr. House. He's blunt, to-the-point, amusing, and knows his stuff.

Both the nurse and doctor made comments about my occupation ("software/web developer/consultant" is what they have listed), and I don't have a permanently puzzled look on my face, so I chalk this whole thing up as "showing off" for the student, a practice I'll disallow should I ever need to go to the doctor again.

P.S. 20 mg prednisone, 2x daily (O) x10d. I'd have rather had that information than a three-minute speech on what a larynx is.

4 Responses to "I’d Have Rather Had Dr. Greg House"

  1. My psychology professor would call that bad conversation skills, since most doctors suffer from this (and make patients suffer, too), I, as a medstudent in Germany, have psychological training twice a week.

    But don't be too rude with him, he properly never learnd how to do it right, and patient-doctor conversation can be a very difficult thing. On the other hand I don't see why a medstudent in an internship doesn't know what a larynx is.

  2. Christian said on June 4, 2007:

    On the other hand I don't see why a medstudent in an internship doesn't know what a larynx is.

    I've not done any medial training aside from a first aid course, but I was wondering the same thing as I was reading the post heh.

  3. Caius Durling said on June 4, 2007:

    I've not done any medial training aside from a first aid course, but I was wondering the same thing as I was reading the post heh.

    I didn't mean to imply that he was doing the actual explaining for the student, but rather the "patient care" thing. In other words, I think the med student knew what a larynx is, but the doctor (and nurse) wanted to show how good they were at patient care and making sure the patient understands the diagnosis, etc.

    They just went way overboard in my opinion.

  4. Erik J. Barzeski said on June 4, 2007:

    They just went way overboard in my opinion.

    Explaining the diagnosis is important for many patients, and I guess you look like an intelligent person (see programmer/developer 😉 ) and these people often exactly want to know what goes on and so you have to explain some anatomy or biology to give these patients the basics to understand diagnosis and treatment. Studies say that this also has a positive effect on compliance.


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