Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Dr. Orthochick: Stabbed in Eyeball

Scene: Outpatient Clinic

Me: Do you want me to see the new patient?

Dr. Attending: It depends. How much do you feel like stabbing yourself in the eye with a stick?

Me: Uh...

Dr. Attending: No, I'm serious! How many times do you feel like stabbing yourself in the eye with a stick?

Me: Well, when you phrase it that way...

Dr. Attending: So you don't want to stab yourself with a stick?

Me: Not especially.

Dr. Attending: Then we'll see the new patient together.

I'm not sure what the correct answer to that line of questioning was.


  1. One of my colleagues' favorite response to residents (and everyone else for that matter).

    Him: Close your eyes.
    Them: (invariably) What?
    Him: Just do it. . What do you see?
    Them: Nothing.
    Him: Exactly.

    It cracks me up every time.

    1. oops, some of the stuff was removed b/c it was seen as html. so...

      Them: (asks question requiring negative response)

  2. Did I miss something?

  3. Two possiblities:

    1. The attending liked you and was trying to spare you the suffering going in by yourself on what the attending foresaw as a difficult and painful situation.
    2. The attending really didn't like you and was contemplating whether it would be worth having to perform/participate in/observe the initial evaluation in order to have you suffer through poking out your own eyes.

    Without more context, either was equally likely in residency.

  4. This type of conversation is super frequent. Various forms of it. The gentlest is "This is a complicated case. Let's see them together / I'll see alone." The other end of te spectrum is the attending saying "There is no way in hell I am seeing them today or ever, so uh, you go see them. I'm uh, out of town. In Antarctica."