The SURPRISING Moves That Doctors Make

The Surprising Moves That Doctors Make #funny #doctor #medical #medicine #humor

So then…she opens the door ever-so-slightly, revealing a shaft of glowing light that hints at the promise of miraculous cures that lie within. Everyone stares at her expectantly.

She glances at her clipboard, then announces the name as though she were calling the winning lottery numbers.

I’m so elated that it’s finally me — I actually jump up and shout, “It’s me! It’s me!” The other patients glare at me as I skip to the door.

I can feel their critical eyes surveying my body parts with that judgmental “she doesn’t look sick” expression. Oh, please — as though they’re sporting gaping gunshot wounds to the head.

I mutter internally, “Hey, I’ve been waiting an hour and 23 minutes, my friends.”

I zip into the inner sanctum, relieved that I’ll finally have an audience with my new HMO doctor. But then I wait in the examining room another agonizing 38 minutes.

Finally, Dr. Kendall enters. He looks at my chart and my red, swollen eyes, then asks a few quick questions about any new soaps or new foods — contacted or ingested.

(I consider making a pun about ingesting a Dove bar – since it’s both a soap AND a chocolate – but think better of it as he seems to be in a hurry.)

Just as I begin to ask questions about my eye ailment, he scribbles “Benadryl” on a piece of paper and hands it to me.

“But I tried Benadryl,” I stammer. “I think this is more than an allergic rea-”

He gives me that look. You know, the “Pardon me, which one of us went to med school?” look. “Take two Benadryl a day until it clears up. You’ll be fine.” He turns to the door.

“But I have more questions. I’m worried my eyesight may start to –”

Then he does something I’ve only seen blackjack dealers do when their shift is done:

He claps his hands lightly, dusts off the palms, then holds his hands up!

HOLDS HIS HANDS UP! Like he’s saying, “That’s enough. I’m done. Time to move on.”

And with a mumbled “You’ll be fine,” he disappears.

Of all the nerve! So I call my HMO and request another doctor.

Two weeks and a $35 co-pay later, I’m sitting in the virtually empty waiting room of Dr. Simmons. Cool. This should be a much shorter wait.

Only it isn’t. I wait almost an hour, then finally I meet the good doctor — who is also the old doctor. He’s easily in his late 70’s.

I’m a little bit concerned, but he seems very thorough. He asks me for a complete medical history — and being the attention-deprived patient that I am, I gladly comply. Even though this is an eye issue, I’m so attention-deprived, I’d even disrobe if he asked. He doesn’t ask.

The doctor’s advanced age reminds me of the time my friend Jill disrobed and wore that little paper cover-up when she went to a really old doctor in Washington. When he examined her, he placed his stethoscope against her chest and asked how old her children were.

“Oh, I don’t have any children yet,” she said.

He listened to her heart and asked, “Well, when did you have your appendix out?”

Perplexed, she responded, “I still have my appendix.”

So he said, “Oh. Well, then what is this scar from?”

She looked at her abdomen and said, “Doctor, that’s the indentation my pantyhose left when I took them off!”

I’m worried that septuagenarian Dr. Simmons might also confuse pantyhose lines for a surgery scar, but perhaps I’m being ageist.

Dr. Simmons takes my eye ailment very seriously. He takes all the time in the world to answer my questions. He deeply respects me. He’s awesome!

I happily take Dr. Simmons’ prescription to the pharmacist, relieved that I’m close to the cure. I pick up the ointment, pay the pharmacist, and just as I leave, he says, “Now remember, keep that away from your eyes.”

“What? What? This ointment is for my eyes!” I exclaim. “I’m supposed to slather this all over my eyes twice a day for a week!”

The pharmacist looks at the prescription again. He shakes his head and says, “Your doctor prescribed *dio_____________. He probably meant to prescribe *mono______________.”

In disbelief, I ask, “And the difference between the dio and the mono is—“

“Uh, well…blindness,” he says.

I’m in shock. “How could he…I mean…I just…he’s supposed to know…this is insane!”

We’re silent a moment. Then the pharmacist looks at me and says, “HMO?”

We lock eyes. I nod. He pats my shoulder.

— Darcy Perdu

*I can’t recall the names of the two medications, but the difference between “good for eyes” and “causes blindness” was literally the first few letters of the medication names! What the hell’s wrong with you, pharmaceutical drug-namers!?  And THANK YOU, vigilant pharmacists!

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Original Illustration for So Then Stories created by Mary Chowdhury

(Any busy doctors who didn’t have time for your questions — or who exhibited odd behavior? Share your FUNNY Medical Stories in the Comments!)

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59 replies on “The SURPRISING Moves That Doctors Make

    • Thank goodness for that awesome pharmacist who gave me the heads up! :o)

  1. My pediatrician is amazing. My ob is too. But my primary care doctor was horrible…like crazy scientist horrible. I actually gave up looking for a new doctor and started going to the walk in “urgent care” clinics. We have one in my neighborhood named Avecina and there is never a wait and the doctors there have been thorough and helpful. I used to wait hours for my general practitioner. It’s kind of backwards that the urgent care triage place has far less wait.
    Herchel S recently posted..A few hours off: 7 ways to Maximize Mommy TimeMy Profile

    • Sounds like a smart solution!
      I love my hooha doctor and my pediatrician too — those are the most important docs for my family, in my opinion! :o)

      • I find it strangely comforting that my ob looks like a cross between Mr. Rogers and Ned Flanders.

    • Lizzi, that video is HILARIOUS! Musta been the same guy who named these drugs too!

  2. To me, the mark of a good doctor is one who asks lots of questions, even if this is the first time you’ve seen him or her.

    My parents had a doctor at their previous address who never asked more than a handful, who disregarded any concerns they had. My mother should have had a handicapped parking permit years ago because of arthritis. He shrugged that off.

    I keep wondering now if there might have been tests an actual competent doctor could have run that would have detected her cancer early. That dolt wasn’t a competent MD.
    William Kendall recently posted..Things That Go Bump In The NightMy Profile

    • I agree the good doctors ask lots of questions and let the patients ask a lot too. I have so much respect for doctors, I sometimes defer when I should be more assertive — your comment is a good reminder to even switch doctors if necessary to get the right match for your needs.

  3. I loved Lizzi’s video!! After a 2 hour wait, I asked the doctor why he was always running so late. His reply? “I wouldn’t be late if patients would stop asking me questions!!”

  4. Paul said:

    Your post is hilarious Darcy, as usual. For sure the patient has to stay on top all the time or bad things happen and believe me even with the national health care here in Canada that still happens. This story is definitely medical related but is more along the lines of “When What Ails Ya Is the Cure.” As a commemorative of my brush with colon cancer, I have a colostomy. At one point I worked for a fuel delivery company whose owner’s father had died of colon cancer. The owner and I had discussed this a few times when I had visited head office. Frank has a heart of gold yet he did not get where he is by being an easy personality. When there was a problem, created by our terminal, which came to his attention without fore warning, he would call our office and whoever answered the phone got the full force of his fury. Thankfully, once he had vented and you had survived, he was fine. One day we ran a large commercial customer out of diesel and forced them to shut down for 2 hours. It was a series of very rare circumstances that caused the problem but, nonetheless, we did it and he was going to make us pay. I happened to answer the phone when Frank called.


    (Pause for breathe)

    Me (very quietly): “Frank, I already have two assholes, I’m not sure where I’d put a third one.”

    Looonnnng pause……….. then,



    • Paul, you are hilarious!!! Only you would make a joke like that — and get away with it! Hysterical!!

  5. Good grief. These two are giving us a bad name. The first guy…what a jerk! Ugh The second, sadly, I’ve seen. It’s “I should have retired 8 years ago” syndrome. :( I hope you changed doctors again and you are with someone normal (and good) now!!! –Lisa

    • yes, thanks, Lisa, I did find a good doc finally!

      and of course I love my hooha doctor (sorry, I should use proper scientific name — my hooha-ologist)

  6. Jewlee said:

    well if it is ANYTHING to do with eyes, screw doctors and go to the ophthalmologist. I almost had a blind scare as well. One of my eyes turned all pink and red and so I thought it was pink eye, got a nurse who glanced at it, said yes, it was pink eye and gave me antibiotics. A week later it was throbbing and swollen and hurt. I go to to a different dr. He tells me, I kid you not – “I don’t know what it is, I’ll make an appt for you to go to a specialist, but if it gets worse don’t come back to see me. Go to the ER.”
    So I’m freaking out, the ER?! Why don’t I go see the specialist NOW? My husband goes down the next day to get the appt. time and place, I’ve been up all night with ice on my face. The nurse tells my husband that it will be at least a week and that they haven’t even made the appt yet. He loomed over her until she gave him the eye docs name, called them, described my symptoms and they freaked out and told him to get me in, RIGHT NOW.
    Apparently my eye wouldn’t have stopped swelling until it split open. OMG OMG OMG

    • OMG OMG OMG is RIGHT!! HOLY BAT SHIT! thank goodness you guys persevered!!

  7. spiffi said:

    When my brother was in the hospital for an operation, it seemed like every piece of paper that came near him, had in big bold letters ‘ALLERGIC TO PENICILLIN’ – his charts, his med orders, his bracelet etc.
    The day he was getting released, the doctor on rounds came by to sign him out, and give him his prescriptions for pills to take at home. My mom was there, and took the prescriptions, not really looking at them, as she was focused on getting my brother – who was weak and in a lot of pain – settled into the wheelchair and then out into the car.
    She stopped at the nearest pharmacy on the way home, to fill the prescriptions. The pharmacist read it, and asked, perfunctorily, “any allergies?”
    My mom said, “he’s allergic to penicillins and sulfa drugs”.
    The pharmacist did a double take – the prescription had been written for exactly the drugs he was allergic to!

    • seriously! are these doctors secretly trying to kill us?

  8. Funny story Darcy; but wow, it’s amazing there aren’t more screwups. When it comes to being a patient, passivity can actually blind you. Or worse!

    But what was wrong with your eyes in the end? Conjunctivitis?

    • The new doctor said it was some sort of eye infection a little different than conjunctivitis, but he prescribed the right ointment and it cleared up in a couple days. So my peepers are AOK now! Phew!

  9. I can’t stand when the doctor you’re seeing is condescending. I once had my daughter in for an ankle injury and I mentioned something about a fracture and the dr said, are you a dr? I wanted to punch him in the face. smug bastard.
    mike recently posted..It might have been the best damn present ever!My Profile

    • I wish those kinds of docs would realize we’re just concerned about our kids and want to explore all possibilities — rather than taking it personally.
      But, best not to punch him in the face because then you might FRACTURE your hand — and THEN where would you be? At the doctor’s again! Exactly! :o)

  10. This is a little more personal than I usually share, but here goes. After having three kids my husband began complaining about my “lack of desire” shall we say. (I know, imagine that, right?) So, at one of my yearly gynecologist appointments, and to appease my hubby and prove to him that there was nothing wrong with me, I decided to ask the doc about it. Only, the doc I was scheduled to see was out sick so I go a new, young resident gal. I did ask, though, and she got really excited. Told me she had just been to a conference about it. Left the exam room and came back with all kinds of samples – lubricants, etc. She even suggested that we “get creative.” I’m a pretty private person and that conversation was rather uncomfortable. I couldn’t help thinking “No – this is not the answer I wanted!” :-)
    Lisa @ The Golden Spoons recently posted..Most Popular Christmas Toys of 2013My Profile

    • that’s hysterical! you were hoping for a 6-week reprieve — and she’s all “let me help you get the romance party started, babe!” hahaha!

  11. What I hate about visiting the Dr office is the receptionist asking why I’m there, the nurse asking the exact same question and then the doctor asking the exact same question. Can’t these three people communicate? They all SEEM to be taking notes…who reads these notes? Obviously not each other!

    • omigosh, YES! I took my daughter to the doctor yesterday and that exact same thing happened! Do you think they’re giving you time to practice your spiel so that by the time you get to the doc, you have a clear, concise summary?

      Either that, or they just like messing with you!

      • Paul said:

        For sure that constant checking is annoying. I got tired of it once and asked the doctor, since he already had all my info in front of him, if he was checking to see if I was suffering dementia or if he really couldn’t read. He just laughed and said; “Both”. He apparently wanted to hear my name from my mouth for confirmation. I had a funny occurrence in ER shortly after that drove that rule home. I had checked in on a Friday night to get a tube replaced that I had in my kidney (it fell out, as it was wont to do). It is a simple procedure but it can only be done in the hospital and on weekends the only access was through ER. They, in turn called in a team to do the work, so there was some waiting involved for the proper personnel to arrive. Once I had been triaged and saw the ER doctor, they parked me on a gurney in a sort of step-up area where small procedures and further examination took place. The area consisted of numerous curtained off spaces with a bed in each space, and various instruments and supplies on the wall behind each bed. They rolled me into a corner unit and closed the curtain. About 20 minutes later a nurse came by and said she was moving me because they had a pregnant woman who needed the equipment in my space, so she rolled me into the next space over – separated only by a curtain. Sure enough, a pregnant woman in obvious pain soon arrived and shortly thereafter, a young intern. He dug right in with the questions, asking her about her kidney and the nephrostomy tube and a dozen other questions that pertained to me. I could hear all this as I lay there trying hard not to laugh out loud. Eventually, the frustrated woman all but screamed: “For God’s sake, I’m here because I’m pregnant!” The intern said: “That’s not written on your chart.” (In a serious doctor’s voice that said she must have screwed up.) It was at this point he realized his mistake and asked her name. He apologized profusely, backed out of the space and trotted off to find a nurse. When he returned to my bed side, he was still very red in the face and humble. Of course, I had to rub it in. Ha! Love a humble doctor.

        • Ha! You must have been cracking up with laughter when the doctor got mixed up — and began to treat the pregnant lady based on YOUR medical chart —
          although I dare say you’d stop giggling pretty quickly if he had come in YOUR room to try to deliver a baby from you!

  12. Nooooo! This is horrific/hilarious. Yiiiiikes!

    Next time you need to pop in to see the doc, alert me. I’ll send my daughter along. She stoically endured a severe scrubbing of her gravel-embedded knee only to projectile vomit all over the doc immediately after.

    I go for my eye test next week.
    Kelly McKenzie recently posted..Hallowe’en Tips for the Novice Trick-or-TreaterMy Profile

    • Ha! I love this idea! Next time a doctor gets feisty with me or tries to dismiss my questions, I’ll just projectile vomit on him! :o)

  13. Here’s a similar story for you, with a little horror added to it… I got the Mirena IUD inserted after my son was born. Nobody told me cysts were a common side effect until I got one. I had intense pain, so intense I was in the ER twice. My OB wouldn’t even touch me until I reached the 6th month mark (apparently anything is normal until you’ve had it for 6 months). So I come back in after 6 months, still have a cyst. So the pain is once again ignored.

    Fast forward to about another 6 months and I go in AGAIN. This time, the cyst is gone and they still want me to wait and see if the pain is from the cyst going away. WHAT?! I know.

    Eventually I found out I had pelvic floor myalgia and had to take pelvic floor physical therapy, and yes it’s as bad as it sounds.
    Ashlee recently posted..Blog AnnouncementMy Profile

    • oh my Lordy — I don’t know what pelvic floor myalgia IS — and I have a feeling I don’t WANT to know!
      so sorry you had to go through all that! and I hope your hooha area is all back to normal now!

  14. Julie said:

    HOO Boy… I used to generally trust the older doctors. You know, they’ve been around, they know their stuff, and when I was young, they were ALL old doctors! I believe my work around is pretty simple. I just don’t go to the doctor. I don’t even know who my PCP is anymore. My insurance is to the clinic where my old dr’s used to work, so I can see any md there, but I won’t go unless death is knocking on my door. Even then the general answer is “I know you don’t feel well, it’s a virus and there really isn’t anything we can give you, try tylenol or advil.” Bah. If you ever see me take a tylenol or advil you better believe I have an ache that would kill the average human being. I guess I subscribe to an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” kinda attitude.

    • exactly! as I get older, those old “experts” seem to lose a little of their shiny luster — I ask a lot more questions now!

  15. Janette said:

    Sometimes I wonder if med school subscribes to the no student left behind practice. When I started going to my mom’s doctor appointments because she said they just kept telling her she was fine,the doctor says to me, “you do realize she is getting old,” and I say, yeah–but not overnight–could she be anemic? “We can check that” Have you checked her for B or D deficiency? “We can.” Test results: Anemia. Vitamin B and D deficient. And a host of other blood issues which eventually lead to a terminal auto-immune diagnosis. Don’t ever let your doctor blow you off — make them do their job — and if you know someone who is elderly and receiving lax care, suggest they get an advocate–it works wonders. Great, funny post as usual Darcy – thanks for keeping us laughing – it’s the best medicine…

  16. Yeah…I’m super picky about physicians and this is why! I do extensive research and work on referrals from either physicians or other folks I know. I check “top doctor” type lists and ensure that whoever is going to be checking my hooha or whatever is very well qualified. If you’re not up-to-par: can’t touch this. There is a reason that doctor’s office was empty lol :) happy hump day! -Iva

    • ha!! you’re RIGHT — there IS a reason that doctors office was empty!

      and I love your strategy — well-qualified, or can’t touch this! :o)

  17. So I was in Cuba on vacation. (Before you over react, I’m Canadian and we were always allowed to go there.)

    Well actually the story starts on the way to Cuba. Our plane had a failed landing (read we had to try twice and I was convinced we were all going to die in a ball of fire while trapped in a giant flying metal coffin).

    Anyway when we landed the heat hit me. Hard. Then my husband was searched by grumpy Cuban authorities who, when I followed after him into the search area, demanded to search me too and I was all “Whatever you want, I just want to stay with my husband.”

    Needless to say there was some stress, which didn’t get any better when I started feeling sick.

    By the time we reached the bus to our hotel I was running for the bus’s tiny washroom to throw up. (You just haven’t lived until you’ve lost an airplane meal into the toilet in the back of a bus in Cuba.)

    I held on until we got to the hotel then was sick every twenty minutes for four hours.

    At that point I was taken to the hotel doctor and I had the following conversation:

    Dr. Symptoms.
    Me. I’ve been throwing up since I arrived.
    Dr. What did you eat.
    Me. Nothing since the plane and my husband had the same meal.
    Dr. What did you drink?
    Me. The only thing I’ve had to drink is bottled water that I brought from home.
    Dr. does this hurt?
    Me. No. It doesn’t hurt I just –
    Dr. You’re pregnant.
    Me. What?
    Dr. You’re throwing up. So you’re pregnant.
    Me. I’m not pregnant.
    Dr. Is this your husband?
    Me. Yes. But I’m not pregnant I –
    Dr. Do you, umm, uh, uummmm, uh.
    Me (Seriously? Is this really happening?)
    Me. Well, yes, we are married.
    Dr. Then you’re pregnant.
    Me. I know I’m not pregnant.
    Me. (to my husband) Don’t you leave me alone.
    Dr. I’m going to give you a shot. You will need to drop your pants.

    Turns out he wanted to give me a generic version of inject-able gravol that would have hurt my imaginary unborn child. His announcement that I was pregnant was just his way of checking that I wasn’t, but it didn’t exactly instill confidence.

    A few hours later (when the vomiting didn’t let up) I went to the hospital for blood tests and an IV.

    The cuban paramedics arrived in my room and in the only Spanish I know I said:

    Me. Es hablo Anglaise? (Seriously that’s what I said, but they knew what I meant.)
    Paramedics. No.
    Me. Es Doctor hablo Angalise?
    Paramedica. Si
    Me. Ok

    At the hospital they gave me every pill they could think of without explaining what was wrong. I paid a very small fee considering the blood tests and ivs, and drugs.

    And then I was better. Dehydrated for the rest of the trip, but better.

    It wasn’t until I got home that my doctor told me that he thought I probably had a panic attack and the pain killers, anti nausea pills, antibiotics, anti inflammatory pills and pink bismoth liquid were probably a bit of overkill. (I brought the spanish packaging home hoping my doctor could identify what I took – I had no clue. Frankly I would have taken anything they put in front of me.)

    I never traveled without my own little pharmacy ever again.

    • omigod, that is hysterical and horrifying! I would have been FREAKED OUT to take a bunch of unidentified meds! Thank goodness you survived that ordeal! So funny that one doc kept “accusing” you of being pregnant!

    • omigod, that is horrible! I’m so sorry for her — and a good reminder to us all to check expiration dates!

  18. I once had a 3:00 appointment with a neurosurgeon, and at 5:00, after no signs of life, other than the girls behind the counter, I asked how long it would be, as I had a 6:00 meeting some distance away. The receptionist told me there was one person ahead of me! I asked for my co-pay to be returned, and walked out.

    Another time, I had gone to a pulmonologist because I was literally fighting for every breath I took. When the technician did the breathing test, every time I had a bad spell she’d stop, so the only three results the doctor saw were “good” ones. I don’t remember what all he said to me when I finally got into his office, because everything flew out of my head when he asked me when was the last time I had a colonoscopy! Did he think I was so full of it that I couldn’t inhale?

    Never saw either of them again.

    • ha!! that’s so funny! “Did he think I was so full of it that I couldn’t inhale?”

      and I can’t believe that other doctor kept you waiting for 2 hours and still didn’t call you in! I heard somewhere that a patient was so frustrated by a similar experience, he decided to BILL THE DOCTOR for HIS waiting time & since the patient was a lawyer, the bill was pretty high! Not sure if the doc paid or not!

  19. Oh my gosh! This story is equally scary and funny. But more scary. Told in a funny way. I always double-check what the doctor says against what the pharmacist says for this very reason! Never had an issue myself, but my brother could have been killed by the wrong dosage being on the prescription bottle once (a misplaced decimal point). I guess everyone makes mistakes…but yikes! Double-check your work, please, doc!

    • amen, sister! double-check your work is RIGHT!

    • Yep, we have a couple good ones we really love now!

  20. Mishee said:

    Ok, this is a really scary medical happening. It happened to one of my sisters’ best friends though and not me, but it is too BAD not to share here.

    My sister’s friend, let’s just call her J for short, had an ovarian cyst that had to be removed surgically. It was bad so she was in alot of pain going into the hospital. But was confused coming out of surgery that the pain was much much worse than she had been led to believe it would be. After much questioning of doctors, nurses, basically anyone she thought might know something about her case, she found out WHY it hurt so much…

    They had literally caught her hooha on FIRE in the surgical room. Someone had mistakenly given the doctor 100% undiluted alcohol with which to clean the area, and when they went to cauterize the wound, flames literally shot out of her lady parts. Needless to say she won her lawsuit.

    Now does that qualify as a medical nightmare or not?

    • omigoooooooooood! that is outrageous! that poor lady — they better have paid her out the ying-yang for catching fire to her hooha!

  21. Judy said:

    I’m frothing at the mouth over my new doctor. They rotate ’em in and out of the clinic I go to. She referred me to get a mammo and see a dermatologist, both of whom asked for my referral before I went. It turns out they aren’t in my insurance network so insurance won’t pay. Why did my doctor send me there? Why did those places not say hey this is self pay?! I don’t live in a small town. I have options of where to go. Now I have $700 in medical bills I don’t feel I should have to pay. Bah!

    • That’s ridiculous! That doctor who referred them should foot the bill!

    • Still got it. Works like a charm! The ointment worked and I’m good to go!