one of the things i love about my dad is his sense of humor. like the rest of his personality, it is gentle and humble, but also a little bit mischievous and a little bit silly. he is retired now (from medicine, not from art), but he used his sense of humor to great advantage in his exam rooms. here are some of my favorites.
if he was running late, he would stick his head into the exam room of the waiting patient and ask, 'did you hear about the butcher that backed into his meat grinder? he got a little behind in his work.'
or, once, when he learned that the elderly woman he was about to examine was blind, he told her, 'well in that case, i'm six foot two and have a full head of hair.'
but my favorite is this. whenever a male patient would grumble about his prostate exam, my dad would gently remind him, 'well it's not the highlight of my day either!' i love that, i think it is brilliant. and then i try to think why. is it the acknowledgement of the awkwardness of a rectal exam - the mix of slight discomfort and slight embarrassment? i really don't know. but if you find yourself on the examining end of a prostate, please give it a try. used in the right way, a little gentle humor can put your patient right at ease.
love you dad, you're the best.