It can be frustrating (both for us and the patient) when a patient comes to clinic and they only want to be treated for one thing, despite the fact that it's not what your clinic is for.
During my residency, I had an elderly male patient who was being seen in our musculoskeletal clinic for neck pain, but all he cared about was the fact that he was constipated. I told my attending that I've never heard a patient say the word "constipated" that many times in a clinic visit. At least not since my intern year.
Me: "So you're here for neck pain?"
Patient: "Well, I've been constipated for the past six months or so...."
Me: "Yes, but you were sent here for neck pain. You're having neck pain?"
Patient: "Oh. Yes."
Me: "How bad is your neck pain on a scale of 1 to 10?"
Patient: "Oh, the constipation is pretty bad."
Me: "Yes, but on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is the worst pain ever, what is your NECK PAIN?"
Patient: "Thirty percent."
Me: "Uh, okay."
Patient: "And this constipation has really been bothering me."
Me: "Are you taking any medications for pain?"
Patient: [reaches into his pocket] "Well, I'm taking this medication here. It's for constipation but it hasn't been working that well."
Me: "Listen to me, sir: I understand that you're having constipation issues, but all we deal with in this clinic is pain. We don't treat constipation here. You're going to have to make an appointment with your primary care physician if you want to discuss your constipation. Today we're JUST going to talk about your neck pain. Do you understand?"
Patient: "I understand."
Me: "Okay, can you show me where your neck hurts?"
Patient: "So who do I talk to about the constipation?"
When I brought the attending into the room, I was hoping he had gotten all his constipation issues out of his system (figuratively). But after we spent a couple of minutes on his neck pain, he was right back to constipation again.
Attending: "So we'll make a referral for you to get physical therapy."
Patient: "I can only remember three things at once and you're giving me too many things to remember. What should I do about my constipation?"
Attending: "As the resident just told you, we don't treat constipation in this clinic."
Patient: "Well, I'm pretty unsatisfied with this visit. You didn't do anything to help my constipation."