So before you do an outpatient surgery, you have to make sure the H&P (history&physical) has been done within the past 30 days. If it hasn't, you have to write one out. It's this little form and you pretty much just have to write out a sentence for the 'history of present illness,' so it's not a big deal and it takes less than 5 minutes to write. It is far and away not my least favorite job. Although I feel dumb asking patients what happened because I feel like I should know a little bit more about them 5 minutes before I take them down to the OR to start cutting. My solution to this is, I kind of pretend I already know what's going on. So I always say, "I know this is a pain for you because I'm sure you've gone over this a million times already, but I just need to ask you one last time to tell me what happened." Most people laugh and tell me, in two sentences or less, when they fell and broke their distal radius.
Me: OK, so I know this is a pain for you because I'm sure you've gone over this a million times already and everyone's asked you, but--
Yesterday's patient: How many times do I need to tell you people? I'm gay!
It was really hard to segue from that into "so when did your trigger thumb start bothering you?"