Going to the doctor can be an anxiety-inducing experience. You feel sick and you don’t know what’s wrong with you. The wait to get called in for your exam only builds tension as you stare at the other patients around you. Then, when it’s finally your turn, all you want is for the doctor to look at your chart and say something that will instantly calm you down. Not all doctors are created equal, though, and the ones you’re about read about either couldn’t resist telling a joke at their patient’s expense, or just had zero intrapersonal skills to begin with!
Your Skin Will Never Be The Same
Jen was just 36-years-old when she went to the doctor to ask about her skin. She was looking for a way to improve her health when instead she got told this:
“‘Now that you’re over 35 years old, your skin is going to be awful. There’s nothing you can do about it either. Here (writes a prescription for cream), you’re going to have to use this for the rest of your life.’ Literally a week later, my skin clears up and I never have to use the cream again.”
Baby Or Gas?
This next patient story comes from a nurse who worked in an intensive care unit. A woman came in with stomach pains claiming she just had gas. The hospital confirmed she was in labor, though, leading to this exchange:
“OB hands the baby to the nurse who then shows NotAMom her baby. NotAMom says, ‘That’s not mine! I have gas!’ The nurse places the baby on her chest and says, ‘Well, here’s your gas. It’s a boy!'”
Stephanie found that when she was pregnant, her doctors weren’t exactly nice about her weight gain. Can you guess what gender her doctors were? Read on to find out!
“When I was pregnant with my first child, the doctor wrote in my file, ‘She’s a little bigger than the average bear’ when referring to my pre-pregnancy weight. Also, another doctor once asked my ‘profession’ and when I said I was a stay-at-home mom, he wrote ‘HOUSE’ in the section. These were both male doctors, of course.”
Molly Said No
In modern society, not everyone is looking to settle down and start a family. That made what this next doctor told Molly when she came in about being depressed all the more infuriating.
“At 27, I finally got up the courage to talk to my provider about antidepressants after suffering for years. He (a PA, not MD) told me that sometimes, women wake up at age 35 and find they’re MORE depressed because they don’t have a family, so if that’s something I want, I should start working on it now so I don’t wind up alone and more sad at 35. This after I had mentioned that I am 100 percent certain I don’t want kids.”
YouTube Trained And Ready For Surgery
This doctor tried to use humor to calm their patient down when they came to have an ingrown toenail removed. Would this have worked on you?
“When I went to the ER to have a painful ingrown toenail removed, I was sobbing, gagging, petrified … the works. But my doctor knew how to calm me down. ‘Don’t worry about a thing,’ he assured me. ‘I just looked up how to perform this operation on YouTube.'”
One doctor couldn’t resist making a dad joke when a patient came in inebriated with severe burns:
“I smelled alcohol on his breath so I asked the guy if he had been drinking and he looked me directly in the eye and said, ‘Nooooo.’ I got drunk just standing next to him. It was a once in a lifetime set up and I couldn’t help myself. As straight faced and professionally as possible I said, ‘Sir…liar, liar, pants on fire.’ The paramedics all turned at once and ran out of the room they were laughing so hard!”
I Know My Body
It’s not always the doctor surprising the patient. One doctor admitted that patients love saying, “I know my body” to discredit his diagnosis:
“Scoped a guy with knee pain – the joint looked perfect. Told him after the surgery, and he told us ‘no, my tendons are all torn. I know my body.’ Told a lady she was pregnant. ‘No, I’m not. I just had a big lunch. I know my body.'”
The Road To Riches
This is one of the more awkward situations we’ve shared yet. Luckily, this doctor had the perfect joke to diffuse the smelly situation. Would this help make you feel better?
“Farted on my doctor’s hand just as she finished a [word removed] exam. Because of the [lubricant] it was an especially wet and raspberry sounding one. She giggled and said she’d be rich if she had a pound for every time it happened.”
The Blunt Truth
Sometimes the honest truth can be just as shocking as a bad joke. One doctor had grown tired of his patient arguing with him about the cause of a nosebleed. The patient was 70-years-old, and according to the doctor it was the only time they’d ever raised their voice.
“This old lady is now convinced her nosebleed after falling on her face is related to an ‘infection’ from the dental issue a year ago. After multiple back-and-forth on the etiology of the nosebleed, she became the first patient I raised my voice and put down an authoritative ‘no, you are wrong, just stop it.'”
A Simple Misunderstanding
Doctors aren’t known for having stellar handwriting, which may have led to this next mix-up. We can’t imagine how bad the nurse must have felt after dealing with this patient!
“The day after I had surgery on my leg, a nurse came into my hospital room with a box in her hand. ‘Are you ready for this?’ ‘What is it?’ I asked. ‘Fleet enema. Didn’t your doctor tell you about it?’ ‘No.’ She rechecked the orders. ‘Whoa! It said feet elevated!’”
The Look Says It All
It’s easy to forget that doctors are real people who have lives outside of work. You never think you’ll see them “in the wild,” and if it does happen, let’s hope you’re not this guy.
“During a yearly check-up the doc was concerned about my weight. I promised him I’d do better and next year I would be back down to a healthy weight. Maybe a week or so later my doc saw me at a local pub with a plate of hot wings in front of me and a pint of beer. He was a bro and didn’t say anything but I could see the look of disappointment in his eyes.”
Phil330 must have been both embarrassed and relieved after running to the dermatologist one day. While what the doctor said might not sound ridiculous, consider the context, and likely the look of embarrassed shame on the patient’s face for wasting his dermatologist’s time:
“Ran to the dermatologist because of a spot on my butt that I thought might be cancerous. Doc looked me in the eye and said ‘Phil330, that’s a pimple.'”
A Friendly Reminder
A now-deleted user told this story on reddit about a package they received from an EMT driver after being taken to the emergency room. They had epilepsy, and thankfully a good sense of humor.
“Apparently, in the ambulance after the seizure I was singing Britney Spears ‘Oops I did it again’ in reference to seizing again. The EMT’s found it so funny that they made sure to tell me about it once I was in the hospital and awake enough to remember. Then a few weeks later I got a package with a Britney Spears CD in it and a post it note saying ‘Seize the moment. But seriously, take your medicine.’”
A Little Potty Humor Never Hurt Anyone
This one probably got a good laugh from anyone in earshot to hear. One doctor was walking when he came across a large man who was having trouble keeping his exam gown on. For whatever reason, the doctor couldn’t help himself from making a bathroom joke.
“Doc walked by and glanced in at a man with a huge belly that would not keep covered. WHOA IT LOOKS LIKE HE NEEDS TO TAKE A HUGE DUMP!”
This is the story of the code that wasn’t one. It’s also the story of why doctors should always respond to their pagers.
“[A] first year resident — wasn’t answering his pages, so we went up the chain of command until we got the attending. the attending walked into the ccu, picked up the phone in the patient’s room called a code. the resident never did believe us when we told him that his attending, not the nurse, called the code. the patient was fine, but i think her husband had heart failure when the entire code team showed up.”
Just Bring Ear Plugs
This is one comment the doctor might want to take back. His office had just started communicating with patients electronically when he responded to a question about traveling with a baby for the first time:
“A mother was requesting advice from the doctor because she was going to be flying on a plane with her baby for the first time and wanted to know what she could do if the baby kept crying. The doctor replied… ‘Bring ear plugs and offer to buy everyone on the plane a drink.’ I don’t think he realized that he wrote this in the patient’s permanent electronic medical record…”
No Soup For You!
One of the most iconic lines from the show Seinfeld was, “No soup for you!” One doctor loved the line a little too much and turned it into his telephone greeting. We’re sure it shocked plenty of patients looking for advice!
“I worked with a doctor in LTC who has a distinctive Middle Eastern accent. He frequently answered his cell phone (after checking caller ID, of course) with, ‘NO SOUP FOR YOU!’ The first time I heard him say it I laughed so hard I cried.”
The Perfect Teaching Back
This next patient could have been offended by the remarks of one doctor and multiple nurses while having a C-section. Instead, she embraced them as hilarious compliments.
“[I] thought it would be funny to share what a doctor AND 2 nurses said to me when i was having a c section in 2008. the nurse giving me an IV in my right hand said ‘gah you took that like it was nothing!’ (i honestly didnt even feel when she put the IV in lol) the anesthesiologist who was giving me my epidural said ‘my you have a PERFECT teaching back!’ haha thanks I THINK lol and the 2nd nurse said i followed orders very well for a women who was in pain LOL”
The Supply Closet Surprise
A slow night at the ER nearly turned into a scandal for this nurse. She asked a doctor for help, and he led her to the supply closet. Can you guess what happened?
“I asked one of the docs if he could look at my foot (I had a corn). He offered to whittle it down with a scalpel, and suggested we go into the treatment room since all the supplies were kept in there. All went well with the corn removal, but as we were returning to the nurses station he said to me, ‘that feels better, doesn’t it? That should hold you for a few months.'”
Even doctors can be caught off-guard sometimes. One doctor wasn’t expecting how swollen their patient’s face was, and they weren’t able to stop themselves before reacting.
“[O]ver night the swelling and pain had gotten so bad she had to come in. One eye was shut and she had about twice as much face on the right as she did on the left, she was so swollen. When the resident arrived to see her, she had her head down and was holding an ice pack to her face. He walked over and introduced himself. She looked up, and he was so shocked by her hugely swollen face that he said, ‘Oh my GOD!’ and actually jumped backward. She was okay with it, and he did apologize, but man was that funny.”
Similar to that last story, this next patient couldn’t have been too pleased with how their doctor reacted to their sinus infection.
“I had a sinus infection that had gone to my eyes and my ears in very short order, and the speed with which it was progressing told me I couldn’t wait until morning to see my PCP. When the ER doc walked into my curtained area, he looked at the green goop oozing out of my eye and down my cheek and said, ‘EWWW!’ and then followed it up with ‘Yikes!’ and ‘Sheesh’ after looking in my nose and ear.”
Patients will sometimes go off on doctors for seemingly no reason. When that happened to this doctor, they decided to get security involved.
“One of our female surgeons was on call that weekend and rounding for her colleagues’ patients, which included this particular patient. She walked into the room, asked him how he was doing and he proceeded to go off. She cut him short and said, ‘Well…aren’t you a miserable son of a [expletive].’ She then walked out and wrote ‘security to room’ in her orders.”
Everything But Rollerskates
Having an infection anywhere is uncomfortable. For one patient, the meds he was given weren’t enough, so he asked the doctor for more. This is how the doctor responded.
“He was really miserable, and caught up with the doc. He asked if there were ANYTHING else he could have for the symptoms. The doc checked his MARs, and looked at the guy (straight face) and told him ‘My God, you’re on everything but roller skates.'”
Is That Safe For The Baby?
This doctor was in such a hurry that he was actually caught off-guard by his pregnant patient. Safe to say, it’s a good thing she was able to get his attention.
“I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my first son. I had a horrible sinus infection and the clinic worked me in on a Friday. They put me in one of the MD offices they were so full. MD comes in, obviously in a major hurry, never even looks at me…orders abx [anti-bacterial medications]. I ask him if it would be safe for the baby–he looks up for the first time and you should have seen his face!! He slowed down after that and looked it up for me.”
This story comes from a nurse after a doctor was finished seeing a patient. The patient complained of pain, and the doctor decided to do some detective work to figure out why.
“I had a doc chart once, ‘Pt complained his chest started hurting Sunday evening while watching football game. It must have been pre-season football as the NFL or college season has not yet begun.’ Very good assessment, doctor.”
You Know It’s Been A Long Day When…
“The customer is always right” does not apply to patients in hospitals. That doesn’t stop them from arguing with their doctors for hours, though.
“A frazzled looking resident came, another explosion ensued from the patient, but said resident refused to give in to the patient’s wishes. After a few more hours of insanity from the patient, I finally called the resident and told him that something else needed to be done as the patient’s yelling (at this point it was directed alternately at me and people she was venting to on her cell phone) was disturbing the entire unit. The resident then sighed loudly and said, ‘Fine, I’m writing an order for dilaudid…but after all of this I need someone to write an order for ME to have IV dilaudid, ativan, and quite a few drinks!!'”
You’re A What Now?
This next doctor founded himself in a strange situation trying to explain to a nearly deaf patient that he was urologist.
“… the guy is so deaf that he yells when he speaks, and in order to get him to hear you, you have to literally yell back at him. I’m actually standing in the next room, and can hear almost everything they are saying (so much for the private consultation). The doctor introduces himself, and says, ‘I’m a urologist.’ He must not have spoken quite loudly enough, because the patient says something about a neurologist and what’s wrong with my brain? The doctor clarifies: ‘No, urologist! You know, the little brain?'”
An Impossible Task
Broken bones are never fun. Recovery can take a while and physical therapy can be taxing on the recovering body parts. That’s why before PT even starts, it helps to have a doctor that can say just the right thing to lighten up the situation.
“I had a patient that broke her arm and was in a sling. She needed to see PT so I asked the doctor to put an activity order in, I figured I would get the normal: NWB RUE [Non-Weight Bearing/Right Upper Extremity]. Nope, ‘No handstands.'”
Just Go To Sleep
While treating patients with illnesses, doctors and nurses can sometimes forget about certain things. For this patient, that small thing was hydration, and it led to a surprising confrontation.
“…she kept eyeing the door in hope that a nurse would drop by so she could ask for some water. After a couple of hours, a nurse finally showed up to turn off the lights for the day. My grandmother told her she was very thirsty and could she please get her some water. The answer she got? ‘Just go to sleep, it’ll pass.’ And then the nurse turned off the light and left.”
Life Without Insurance
This next story is what happens when new employees have to wait two weeks for their insurance to kick in.
“I had just started a new job, and hadn’t been there long enough to have qualified for health insurance. I came down with a severe case of Bronchitis. So I went to the walk-in… I paid my bill for my visit… and went next door to the clinic pharmacy to get the prescription… it would be $200 for 10 days (20 pills). I couldn’t afford that. The pharmacist suggested I ask the doctor for a different medication, even gave me a list of similar medications I could be prescribed that would cost less… the physician’s assistant came out of the back into reception and THREW a paper bag at my face, in front of the entire waiting room, yelled, ‘Because you can’t afford medicine!'”