Going in circles

The following is the beginning of one of my patient interviews today. My interpreter verified that I said and understood everything correctly. Not all are this bad, but conversations take place like this on a daily basis.

Me: Hello, why did you come to the hospital today?

Patient’s mother: For his monthly check-up. He sees Dr. Valery every month.

Me: Why does he see Dr. Valery every month?

Patient’s mother: Because he needs antibiotics.

Me: When was the last time you saw Dr. Valery?

Patient’s mother: On Monday.

Me: Why are you coming today if you just saw him?

Patient’s mother: I didn’t just see him.

Me: You just told me you saw him Monday. What did you mean?

Patient’s mother: I saw him on a Monday in April.

Me: When was the last time you saw Dr. Valery?

Patient’s mother: In April.

Me: I thought you just told me you see him on a monthly basis?

Patient’s mother: Yes.

Me: What do you mean “yes”?

Patient’s mother: Yes, I saw him in April.

Me: How many times have you seen him?

Patient’s mother: Just once.

Me: What did you see him for?

Patient’s mother: He had a cold.

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