SCENES: As usual in some exam room, happening all over the land, all the time and causing stress, hair loss, anxiety, irritability and other things in physicians…


PATIENT: “I didn’t feel well yesterday, so I took my husband’s medicine.”

FRAZZLED DOC: “What did you take?”

PATIENT: “I don’t know.”

MORE FRAZZLED DOC: “You said you weren’t feeling well.  Tell me, did you have pain?”


FRUSTRATED FRAZZLED DOC: “Then what was happening?  In what way weren’t you feeling well?”

PATIENT: “I just told you.  Don’t you listen?  I didn’t feel well, so I just took whatever my husband was taking.”

(Twelve more grey hairs sprout on this poor physician’s head)


ANOTHER DOC A FEW BLOCKS AWAY: “How is your reflux, Mr. NvrLissen?  Are you doing well on the medicine we started three weeks ago?”

NVRLISSEN:“It’s worse.”

ANOTHER DOC: “Are you taking it once a day about 20 to 30 minutes before you eat, with a glass of water?”

NVRLISSEN: “Never took it.”

ANOTHER DOC: “why?  What happened?” I gave you the prescription.”

NVRLISSEN:   “Well the, PHARMACIST SAID that I shouldn’t. It has too many side effects.”

(Tooth chipping as Another Doc grits her teeth)


DISHEARTENED DOC: “You’re still getting on that exam table with great difficulty.  Isn’t your back any better?”

KVETCH ATYU: “It will be, I just started.”

DISHEARTENED DOC: “Oh, you just started seeing the orthopedist?  I usually get a report quickly from him.  We’ll call his office and get a consultation report.”

KVETCH ATYU: “Oh no, Doc.  I just started seeing the chiropractor two weeks ago, but don’t worry, He says I’ll be fine, he just needs to see me for a couple of times a week for a few months, and I shouldn’t worry about the pain getting worse, no control over my bladder and the weakness that started in my legs. He can fix that.”

(Ulcer just eroded in Southern doc’s duodenum)



UPSET PATIENT:  “I was just in the rheumatologist’s office and she said my blood pressure is 185/110.

DOCTOR CURMUDGEON® (about to make a comment about coming to office now, but has become more educated in the ways of some patients) “Uh…You are taking your blood pressure pill every day?  Right?  Of course?

UPSET PATIENT:  “Or course not.  I finished it last month.”

Ba Da Boom!


DOCTOR CURMUDGEON®: “Mr.Picky Wicky, your blood pressure is now 200/100.  We’re going to have to increase the dosage of your medicine.  Are you taking it every day?”

PICKY WICKY: “No, Doc.  I never started it.  My neighbor is taking a different drug and he said that I should take the same one that’s he’s on.”

DOCTOR CURMUDGEON®:  “Well, unless your neighbor is the Chairman of the Department of Medicine where I graduated…COVER YOUR EARS!”


Doctor Curmudgeon® is a physician-satirist and often hides behind Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D. FAAFP, a writer/physician.  This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors – the virtual doctors’ lounge and the home of medical crowdsourcing.


Check Out:

Bitter Medicine: A Doctor’s Year in Viet Nam
by Eugene H. Eisman

These are true stories gleaned from the author’s experience as a physician in Vietnam. It is a mixture of humor and pathos.

Dr. Eugene H. Eisman, earned his MD at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He served two years in the army. Six months was served in Pleiku, and six months in Cam Rahn. He now lives in Miami Florida.