So this patient of mine (and it was a tough day, lemme tell ya) is asking me in my Outpatient Department room, “So, Doctor, when you say drink a lot of water, why do you say that?”
Me: “Because it is getting hot, and you would lose a lot of fluids from your body.”
Patient: “And how much should I drink?”
Me (increasingly restless with the thought of more such specimen waiting outside): “Around 5 liters…”
Patient: “Should I drink all of 5 liters in the morning?”
Me: “Yes, definitely, if you can. But remember, if you do so, you should NOT drink any more water for the rest of the day.”
Patient (in auto-TV reporter mode): “And how should I drink this?”
Me: “By chewing every mouthful of water properly. Every time.”
There is a class of patient (usually the relative of one) who is born to be a TV reporter. One patient’s husband asked me questions like, “How do you know this doctor (the referring physician)?”, “Where did you study?”, “Are you a South Indian?” and even about my physical lackings (you know how people in India think you have TB if you are looking thinner and ask, “You have become so thin. You used to be more healthy in the past. Why is that?”). To this last question, my patience (not my patients, though) ran out and I said crisply, “Because camel’s milk, which I love to drink, is not available in the stores any more. Can you get me some?”
Then there are patients’ relatives whose stories would need blog posts in their own merit, so honorably funny they were.
Have you encountered the reporter types in the past?

18 responses to “UNWISE VICE-CRACKS

  1. Doc, you made me go back 17 years or so when I was at the recv. end of such questions back at SN.

    I spoke flawless ophthal-bengali only to realize that it didn’t really work in my favor. All true bongs were routed to me, and I couldn’t converse beyond the basics.. and many words fell through the gaps between the said and unsaid. I quit after that.

    Still brings a chuckle when I think back. 🙂

  2. Ha ha ha!

    “Where did you study?” !!! – really?

    Well, we all know stories of docs swindling gullible patients, so this may be a good thing if done correctly. But getting one’s inspiration from TV reporters – now that’s really funny!

  3. ha ha doc, aisa hua aap ke saath. being a doc, each day a new specimen could attack you. for me, nowadays, all reporter, non-reporter questions (and endless questioning, trust me!) is the sole responsibility of my 3 yr old daughter.

    good luck, doc, hope some of them entertain you too 🙂

  4. Hahaha! My dad is a doctor and has a stock of such experiences, which he generally hushes up except in times of emotion. He still gets irritated by the fact that we find them funny.

    My favorite is a patient who was asked to get a stool sample. He was advised by relatives to make sure there was enough material to study and returned some 10 days later with a 17 liter “Postman” oil tin filled with shit. They had to close down the path lab for a few hours…..

  5. “What took you so long in the bathroom?” Me to a female patient after three days of her surgery. She was now allowed to go to the loo instead of the catheter and urobag.

    “aap hi ne bola tha na, ab khade hoke bathroom ja sakte ho!”


    “khade khade urine pass karnme taklif ho rahi thi”


    She took immense strength not to laugh at her face. She took the word “khade” literally!! But we are taught in Medical school not to laugh at patients.. at least not on their faces!!!

  6. lucky for me, whenever I land up with those types, my natural ability to ask questions takes over and I screw them with a lot more questions than they can chew :}

  7. In India, if you are not Fat you are weak.

    “You have become so thin. You used to be more healthy in the past. Why is that?” is the most common question I have come across. Not thin(patla) but weak(kamzor).

    @Sakhi, patient must have thought ki “khade hoke kerna” is part of some therapeutic treatment.

  8. Most older people want us to be plump. 😛

    I get inquiries from prospective students about learning Sitar – “So do you think I can play like that guy, umm.. Ravi Shankar, if I take a summer course?”

  9. With no disrespect to alternative forms of therapy, it is amazing to note the kind of blind faith and tolerance many patients have for absolute quackery. I am unaware how much the other commentators know about this practice or if it is prevalent around those parts of the world where they stay, but a sizeable population of the ill in India finds refuge in quacks, who have the audacity to practice nearly everything from cardiology to piles surgery. Many a times we joke that the toughest competition we have is not from our fellow practitioners, but from the roadside quack who claims to cure everything from arthritis to AIDS with just a few magical herbs and similar gobbledygook.

  10. Yes, A Lot! They would ask me my qualification, my grade in college, my salary, my post and things like “What is the big deal about computer engineers, they are just like typists on computers!” and they check with me if I know Bill Gates, if I had met him, had dinner with his family and I will stand there not know how to explain that I am an Apple Fanboy! In between there is also questions and riddles on US Presidents and US Economy. Even the jeweller we visited last time, was really concerned how Obama can turn around the US economy and He was hoping I had the answer for him!

  11. LOL, you guys get to have too much fun.

    Sakhi & Naren, please tell me you’re exaggerating!


  12. I am getting the feeling that we cant know for sure who is having fun with the other – the interviewer or the interviewee! 😉

    Just one more way of looking at it…

  13. After reading the post and comments
    I laughed until i cried !

    You have great patience !

  14. Vivek S. Khadpekar

    Dinesh Babu,

    Seeing your comment on this post reminded me of the adage, “An Apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I am still trying to figure out why. Also wondering if said adage applies to genetically modified apples 🙂

  15. @ gauri

    nope, not at all!! 🙂

  16. Doc you should be paying your patients for all the fun they seem to provide you – or at least a 5% rebate in the fee?

  17. Pingback: Should I drink all of 5 liters in the morning? at Blogbharti

  18. I’d love to do medical transcription job for you 😀

    This is really hilarious.

    Should I use the lower jaw pressure while chewing on the water or the upper jaw pressure, btw?


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