Me: Do you work?
Patient: I'm on disability
Me: For what?
Patient: Social anxiety. But I don't need to take medications for it.
Me: Uh, OK
Patient: If I'm going someplace where I don't know anyone, I get really nervous.
Me: I see.
Patient: But I also think I have a touch of bipolar. Sometimes I can be really happy and really sad in the same day
...and if you would excuse me, I'm off to file my disability application, which is approximately 20 years overdue.
(I told that one to another resident, and he told me he had a patient the other week on disability for chronic back pain who was up on her roof shingling when she fell off and broke her femur. He heard her talking to her sister and she said "my disability coordinator is not going to like this one.")
Final story: one of my buddies who's a primary care physician in Texas told me this one:
Patient: I'm just here for my yearly physical so I can keep on getting disability
PCP: You're 22 and you don't take medications. Why are you on disability?
Patient: I'm gay
Patient: Well, when I tell people I'm gay, I get made fun of. So I can't work.