1. A few years ago a Patient came in to see me for an annual physical examination. When I asked him if he smoked, he said yes, and before I could comment, he asked me would it be safe for him to give it up now.
"Of course," I said, " you know that",
"Well", he said, "when I was in for my check-up last year, you told me it could be dangerous if I quit now!"
Of course, I had never told him any such thing and corrected his misconception. I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I may have said to that man and am still in the dark. Go figure!
2. A colleague of mine told me the following story. While taking a history from a patient, he was inquiring about her pregnancies and she told him her last baby was delivered by Caesarian Section.
"Why did you need a C-section?," he asked.
"Well, I don't think I actually needed it, I think it was because the Doctor needed the money," she said seriously.
"What makes you think that?"
"I was in labour and the specialist came around with his assistant and they were discussing my case and I heard him say - I can't afford not to operate!"
This is true - not a joke.
3. My lifetime best friend and colleague and I enjoyed what some might consider a slightly immature sense of humour. Ian had a strong Edinburgh accent, which time in Canada had not made the slightest impression upon, in distinction to myself, where whatever Irish accent I had rapidly dissipated.
In the days when physicians still made house-calls, I would sometimes phone Ian, put on a mock Irish brogue and try to fool him with a
"D'ye make house calls Dr, I need someone to come out to the house right now?"
"Come off it, Stan. You can't fool me. I know it's you".
I met Ian for coffee after rounds one morning.
"Boy, did you ever get me into trouble last night." he said.
" Why, what happened?" I asked.
"Well, I got a phone call at about 11 O'Clock last night, and the voice said, in a phoney Glasgow accent, 'd'ye make house-calls Dr, I need someone to take a look at m'wee bairn (child)?'
"Come off it Stan, I said, "you're not fooling me"
. 'I'm no Stan, Dr,' said the voice.
I was determined not to be fooled,and it took that poor patient five minutes to convince me he wasn't you, and another five for me to explain my response." said Ian.