Monday, March 21, 2011

not the highlight of my day either

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.


  1. Loving these stories! Keep them coming.

  2. How about his story of a little old lady who was feeling out of balance.... He asked her if her boobs were the same size!

  3. OK, here is my always got a chuckle. As the patients were leaving the exam room I would say to them..."when you go through the waiting room look like you feel better".

  4. here is my version of that - when we have to call an ambulance to take a patient to the ER, they always bring a stretcher into the room. if the situation is not too grave, i always tell the patient, when you get into the waiting room, tell them you're Dr. C's patient, not mine...

  5. They are all absolutely 'brilliant!' Your dad is my hero. I hope I'm that great of a doctor. I'm going to be a rural house call doc only.. I'm so excited to start my practice...and scared to death at the same time.I've had great feedback from patients and doctors alike on this endeavor..and it's coming back. Is it wrong to be comfortable accepting a slice of apple pie with ice cream as payment? I should have been a doctor in the 1940's I guess. I still have a yr at least before starting a practice. i don't need to be board certified to be a country GP. I'm not accepting third party payers anyway and the HSP's within a 50 mile radius have bad reps..most are baby boomers and rural and over twenty towns within the same county with no, not's Oklahoma.