Everyone has pet peeves. You know, silly things that drive you absolutely crazy. One of mine is that when you are trying to get out of an elevator, people are already trying to come in. People! Let the ones getting off go first, then you can get on. Geez!
Explore This IssueACEP News: Vol 31 – No 12 – December 2012
After a couple of years as an attending, I have developed a few. These things have begun to grate on my nerves, so I’m just going to vent. I have a sneaking suspicion that most of you out there have similar quirks. Here I go.
This first one is The Little Blue Pill:
Me: What medicines are you taking.
Patient: I don’t know. A lot. One is a little blue pill.
Me: Um, yeah. Not really helpful.
Is it really too much to ask to write down your medicines and keep it in your wallet or purse? It’s printed on the bottle. Just copy it down. I mean, there are a lot of blue pills. I know one that a lot of men particularly like. (Hint: you shouldn’t take it with nitrates.)
And patients look at you like, “You should know what I’m talking about, Doctor, since you have superhuman abilities with X-ray vision and telepathy.” Sorry, but, no, doctors weren’t born on Krypton or bitten by radioactive spiders in med school. You actually have to help us help you.
Now, I will spin off of the last one, and move on to the Bag O’ Medicines. I will say that at least these patients think to bring in their medicines. Go you! However, having to sort through a huge bag of medicines and sometimes multiple different pills in one bottle slows me down. I once had a patient bring in their meds in a kitchen-sized garbage bag. Talk about polypharmacy! The 15 or 20 minutes that the nurses and I take to go through that sack is time lost. Please people, just write them down.
Here’s another awesome one: I Don’t Have Any Medical Problems.
Me: What kind of medical problems do you have?
Me: Then what’s that huge scar going down your chest from?
Patient: Oh, I had a bypass.
Me: Do you have high blood pressure?
Me: Then why are you taking (insert BP medicine)?
Patient: Well, I did have high blood pressure, but now I take medicine for it, so I don’t have it anymore.