so, you’re married, right?

this past monday, i had the pleasure of interviewing eight, count ’em, eight fake patients.  while most of them went relatively well, a few stand out in my mind as being the exact opposite.  here are a few of my favorites:

the firefighter:

i walk into the room and ask the patient what brings him in. “i’m having horrible thoughts”.  i ask him what kind of horrible thoughts.  and he says, “well, you see, i’m a firefighter.  and recently i was fighting a fire with my brother, when he fell off the ladder above me.  i tried to keep him from falling, but i wasn’t strong enough and he fell and died.  then it was even worse because i had to identify his remains.”

clearly this is someone with post traumatic stress disorder, but no matter who you are, there is no way to be prepared for that.  i felt like i was hit by a bus.  i didn’t know what to say because i couldn’t even fathom that, and i definitely was not expecting that to be his complaint when i walked into the room.  after the interview, the patient and physician (who was watching me from behind a one way mirror) rate me on my performance.  ha, the patient didn’t think i was very empathetic, at least in the beginning, but the physician thought i did awesome.  then they ask how i felt about it, and i definitely articulated my aforementioned thought of feeling like i was hit by said bus.

the abdominal pain:

woman comes in with abdominal pain – after a history and physical, it seems pretty obvious it’s either appendidicits, pid, or a ruptured ectopic pregnancy (with the latter being the most feasible).  each of those is pretty much an emergency and don’t really allow one to fart around asking stupid irrelevant questions like, what is your parent’s health like?  the physician comes in and basically critiques me because i didn’t ask her if she was married or if she was trying to get pregnant.  hey guess what buddy, both those questions are irrelevant, and more importantly, asking if a woman is married when she could potentially be pregnant is just a bit insulting.  these days you don’t need to be married to be prego.  well, you didn’t before either, but you get the idea.


blah.  i hate these fake patients sometimes because it is soooo impractical.  that kind of stuff is not what happens on the floors.


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