a young pakistani doctor blogs...
Monday, July 17, 2006
  House Doctor
Just got time for a quick scribble. Study is going well. I’m a little behind in my timetable, but I think I can catch up later on.

Just wanted to share a thought. It’s not easy being the only doctor in the family, especially one who has no clinical experience and has learnt everything he knows from the books. I find myself facing strange situations where family members come to me with all sorts of arcane symptoms I’ve never heard of. I wondered why that happened so often and I finally figured it out.

When patients stir themselves to go see a doctor, the symptoms for what they have are well-established and therefore far easier to make sense of. For a ‘house doctor’, so to speak, a visit to the doctor is as far away as the door to my room. So I get bombarded with all sorts of symptoms a real doctor may never see because they are not serious enough for the patient to want to go to the trouble of visiting a doctor.

Case in point, once my father comes to me and complains that when he pulls some of the hairs on his belly, it itches him. He asked me solemnly what this odious sign must portend. I was at an absolute loss. I’ve never even heard of something like this. Can you imagine someone going to the doctor when having this be the chief complaint? Another case in point, my bhabi recently complained of a ‘discomfort’ in her chest. No fever, no cough, no nothing… just a vague discomfort. Does it hurt a lot? No. Is it a sharp pain? Not really. It is a dull pain? Ummm… no. Does it hurt when you breathe? “Hmmm… no, not really. It’s just some discomfort. Where does it hurt exactly? In my chest.

These days I’m reduced to telling everyone to wait for a few days, and to let me know if the symptoms get any worse. I’m sure they all thing I’m a worthless doctor. Like what kind of a doctor is he? He’s telling me to wait till I get even sicker before he does anything. Hahahahahaha

Ah well, back to the grind.
Must make for some amusing situations... :-D

Good luck for your exams and the subsequent health complaints you will have to deal with!
Be a safe Dotor..refer to a senior at all times :p
hahahahaha i SO know what you mean!!!!! I know im not a doc yet but ppl in my family come up with weeeeeird stuff and i just look totally blankly at them, i think they think im going to make a rubbish doctor. And God forbid i do work out whats wrong with them, they stare at me gapingly cos they thought i was stupid. LOL
Oh and they dont trust me with anything at all. My uncles on a real high dose of indomethacin that he was given for gout. It keeps recurring so he is pretty much continuously on it. I told him to go to his doc to ask for prophylaxis for gout, and in the meantime he should take his indomethacin with gaviscon or some milk. A month later i ask him if he did any of the above. Eeerm nope!
oh GOD,i can imagine things that ur talking about,lol....ur blog was funny+interesting+realistic
i hope u becum a good doc n b able to satisfy ur family soon
good luck 4 the exams
I have this ache in my left little toe. It only hurts me on Sundays or when I take out the trash. Do you think I need surgery?

ha ha..I thought I'd get in on the action. :)...and the belly hair thing had me rolling!!!!!!!!
lol ur dad is funny
Funny. Reminds me of when I was in law school and everyone would ask me legal questions and advice all the time. I used to remind them that you get what you pay for.

Good luck with school. My bro's starting his 4th year here in the U.S. I know it's not easy.
DrPak ... besides the fact that this had me laughing out loud, and people here wondering what on earth was wrong with me ... I have to point something out:

"So I get bombarded with all sorts of symptoms a real doctor may never see [...]"

Please don't do that to yourself ... you are a "real doctor."

All the best on the test!
Thanks moof, thats very nice of you to say :D
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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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