Too many “consults”!

When I was a medical student and resident, I enjoyed the informal non-medical personnel consult. Friends, family or even strangers would ask about their symptoms or medical problems and I would happily engage in a conversation.

Things are a little different now.

Last week, the waitress at our favorite local restaurant said “Can I ask you about a problem? I have pain in my stomach and white discharge from my vagina. What medicine should I take?”

Today, I received a random phone call stating that “I am from Belgium. A friend told me you were a doctor and gave me your phone number. My child will not eat and I need help”.

Just one hour later, I was buying groceries at the local market, “Shoppers”. While in line paying for my goods, the owner approached me and said, “I have a question………I have this pain (he grabbed his scrotum). Now for three days. What should I do?”

If that wasn’t enough, one of the medical students in a different department found my phone number and texted me. She said, “my two cousins are sick. They need to see you. Where can we meet?”

For each person, I simply said “HEAL Africa has wonderful doctors. If you need help finding the emergency room or outpatient clinic, I would be happy to show you the way.”

I felt bad for refusing to consult on the cases, but the best care is given through formal means.

As a side note, I also have no desire to examine some random person’s genitals in the few moments I have away from the hospital.

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2 Responses to “Too many “consults”!”

  1. Francisco Acosta Says:

    I figure you would get questions like that!

  2. John Carpenter Says:

    Well, I think an exception should be made for parents of doctors. By the way, son, I am starting to see wrinkly skin in the mirror. I am sure there is something wrong with the mirror, but better safe than sorry.

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