Practice? We Talkin Bout Practice?

Am I good at my job?

My brother’s in med-school, which is great, because everyone likes having a doctor in the family. I’m a fundraiser. Not as popular. He gives free medical advice; I give guilt trips. He brings a level of prestige to our family; I bring sob stories and open hands.

But at least people know what they’re getting from me. Doctors are totally unpredictable. I mean, there’s a reason they call it “practicing” medicine—although I think most doctors need a little (and by a little I mean a lot) more practice.

Case Study #1

I used to have warts on my left wrist. They were hideous. They started as two separate lumps which eventually teamed up to become a super-power wart. I had them frozen off—they grew back with a vengeance. Ultimately we had to go to the scalpel to deal with the rogue growths. But before I had them sliced off, my doctor brought in the most smoking-hot nurse I’ve ever seen—she was going to take pictures of my aberration so I could be in a medical journal because my warts were “so weird!”

Thanks Doc. And thank you even more for sending in this dream nurse to photograph my deformity

<Enter nurse>

Me: Hey. What do ya think? Pretty cool, huh?

Sexy Nurse: Uh, yeah… I guess.

Me: I was just kidding – they’re pretty gross. That’s why we’re cutting them off.

<no reply>

Me: Good thing they aren’t on my penis, huh?

Sexy Nurse: (not even batting an eye): The doctor should be right in to see you.

Well, that was awkward.




<Doctor FINALLY enters>

Me: Doc, I’ll be the first to admit—I’m a bit of a softie when it comes to things like needles and, you know, acute pain.

Dr.: Relax. This is just going to feel like stinging bees.

Me: Terrific. Wait, what?

<injection, searing pain, suppressed yelping>

Dr.: Stinging bees!!! Stinging bees!!!

Me: Oh, oh, stop. Please stop. Seriously stop.

Dr.: Take it easy Casanova. At least they aren’t on your penis, right?

So much for sexy nurse/ client confidentiality.

Case Study #2:

A few years later, I was instructed to see a doctor about my high cholesterol and acid reflux because, apparently, I’m built like an 80-year-old coal miner.

Doctor (perusing my chart): So, you’re here about your cholesterol and acid reflux? You seem a little young for these problems. What are you, 16?

Me: Man, you’d make a lousy carny!

<Confused silence>

Me: You know – the carnival guys that guess your age?


Me: I’m 25.

Doctor: I know – it says so on this chart.

Me: Sooo, what else does it say?

Doctor – It says you’re too young for a cholesterol problem. As for that acne on your forehead,  what are you doing about that?

Me: (wide eyed and speechless) Uh… Uh – nothing. Acne? I mean, really doc – it’s just a few zits. I was sick last week. Sometimes I get zits when I’m sick – I wouldn’t call it acne.

Doctor: Well I would. Here’s a prescription for your acne.

Case Study #3

Ever one for disgusting diseases usually relegated to the senior population, I came down with gout, which, if you’re unfamiliar, feels like having a truck driving over your toe again and again and again.

The foot specialist decided it was bone spurs, despite x-ray evidence to the contrary. This guy was more of a “hunch” doctor, than a scientific doctor. He figured a cortisone shot oughta do the trick.

Dr.: Sit back and relax

<prolonged injection, prolonged searing pain, suppressed yelping>

<5 seconds later>

Me: (through clenched jaw, delirium setting in) Jesus. Doctor – this (heave) really (ugh) hurts.

Doctor: I’m sure it does. Right in your toe too. Ouch!

Me: (to self) Focus Steve. Don’t pass out. Happy place – find a happy place.

Doctor: Just another 30 seconds or so. You OK?

Me: No. Think…I….might…be….passing….out….

Doctor: You sure are dramatic, HA! Just kidding – Aaaaannnnnnnd, 10 more seconds, aaaaand 5 and 4 and 3 and 3 and 3 and 3 and 3

Me: Stop – I feel better. Please stop.

Doctor: Done! Good work champ. Want a sticker? Just kidding. Call me in a week, we’ll see if this helped.

It didn’t. Why? Because I didn’t have bone spurs. I had gout. What DID help was finding a doctor with a better understanding of ailments and their appropriate treatments. And it only took two years to find that doctor!

There are some businesses where it’s okay if you’re not perfect all the time (like meteorology; or my job.) But doctors should be held to a higher standard – which they’re not. They’re all about “having opinions,” and “practicing,” and diagnosing you for the wrong problems. The least they could do is prescribe the good pills. They’ll still suck at their jobs, but I’m betting a good dose of Valium would make it easier to accept.

– The Big Avocado MD

About The Big Avocado

A bag of chips and then some.
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12 Responses to Practice? We Talkin Bout Practice?

  1. annnnnnd that’s why I prefer alternative medicine as a first step to any ailment! Here’s to hoping your brother becomes one of the good ones!! 🙂

  2. Chris says:

    Suck it up!
    Ps… Remind me not to shake your hand when I see you next… Yuck!

  3. michael says:

    thanks for not bringing my “practice” into the story. . . ps you should definitely never listen to anyone who has a white coat that say’s “Student Dr. Michael Percy Fox” or “student dr anything else” for that matter

    PS my tests are going well except for pharmacology. . .go figure

  4. Diane says:

    Funny tales, laughter is the best medicine.. Thanks Avocado MD!

  5. Kristin says:

    I think if you receive a higher paycheck then you should be held to a higher standard. Thus since teachers are held to “higher standards” we should also be held to high paychecks.

  6. Anne says:

    Super warts, cholesterol, acid reflux, gout….Damn Marie is one lucky, lucky lady. I did have a similar bad doctor situation like 6 years ago, pre marriage/ pre kids. I went to the doctor for my yearly woman exam and forgot to mention my problems with some dizziness. So I called her office and left a message about it. Her nurse called me back and said, “don’t worry about it. The doctor says that dizziness is normal during pregnancy.” I was like, “WHAT!?!? I am pregnant???” She was like, “hmm could you for a minute?” Two terrifying minutes later she came back on and was like, “oops I had the wrong file. Your blood work was normal and you should probably see someone abt your dizziness.” Yeah, thanks.

  7. Lara says:

    This post makes me feel exponentially better about throwing up all over your room and bathroom and needing to borrow your clothes from being so deathly ill. Now that I know about your ailments I feel much better about being the near stranger who borrowed your room to have the stomach flu. Here’s to having ailments. And, congrats congrats on baby #2. You make super cute kids so I’m happy to hear you and Marie and continuing to procreate. Cheers!

  8. Graham says:

    Reminds me of a buddy who was assigned a new urologist at Kaiser after the old moved away. Turn’s out she was a 5’2″, 95 pound Vietnamese woman of about 30 years old. Got awkward when it was brought to his attention that setting weekly appointments for the following month was not necessary nor well thought of. (The posting of a warning sign with his photo in the reception area did seem a bit over the top.)
    To the point: Doc’s are only as good as their diagnosis! The diagnosis is only as good as all the info we give them to do so. Sad sign of the time’s is that few Doc’s today pull their head’s out of their… charts to actually talk to the patient. Save’s time, save’s money, save’s our toes gettin’ stuck for no good reason!!!

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