I was once again staring into the face of a baby faced medical student ... whose name I have changed to protect the innocent (me) and of course Doogie Howser. Each time I visit my Internist, he is shadowed by yet another a new medical student. They all go through the same routine: acting like real doctors and asking the same inane questions that the REAL doctor will repeat 15 minutes later. Of course, I understand the drill ... the doctors are part of the university teaching staff and their students learn by treating patients.
This one actually gave me permission to call him Adam.
"So ... I see that your blood pressure is a little high. I am concerned about that."
"You are, Adam?"
"Yes ... I think we need to revisit your medications."
"Well ... Adam ... I prefer you didn't. My pressure is normally in this range and ... "
"In looking at your chart, I see that your weight is the same as well. Have you tried to reduce your caloric intake."
I was losing patience."If you are comparing it to my last visit, that was only two weeks ago ... I've dropped over 20 pounds in the last 2 months."
"Oh ... I'm not sure I can tell that from your records."
I walked to the computer and showed him where the personal history was. "Hey, Adam, is Dr. H coming in soon?"
"He'll be here shortly. Now I have just a few other questions for you ..." I zoned out ... "Any changes in meds? upset stomaches? headaches? sleeping okay .... "
Finally the question I was waiting for ... "So what did you come in for today?"
"I have a hernia."
Silence. "Well ... let's examine you." He had me hop up on the table and checked my heart.
"Actually, Adam, the hernia is in my groin ..."
"I know ... I just need to get your vitals." (Vitals? I thought the hernia might be vital enough.)
"Okay ... let's have a look in your ears."
Thankfully, just about that time Dr. H came in. He shook my hand and asked the student what he found out. Adam impressed him with some fancy medical findings that made me sound like a terminal cancer patient (I SO wanted to say ... hey Adam ... tell him about the cone getting stuck in my ear ... but I held back.) Then it finally came out ... "Mr. Momberg also feels that he has a hernia."
Dr. H looked over at me and I nodded in agreement. He reached down and deftly checked the area I pointed to and said ... "Yes he does."
Dr. H. entered the info in the computer and then asked me the question that I dreaded, "Joel, do you mind if Adam here checks it as well. I want him to understand how it's done and what it feels like."
"Okay ... sure." I growled at Dr. H as he smiled.
"Okay Adam ... reach in here ... no this way ... a little to the left ... now ... up. "
"Woah!" I jumped.
"Sorry," Adam said. He finally finished and thanked me.
Dr. H did too. "Thanks for allowing this Joel ... you know how important this is for our students."
"No problem," I started to feel guilty and then overcompensated ... "Any time you need to do this you know I understand."
"Thanks ... I knew you would."
He then opened the door as my pants were around my ankles and invited in (I kid you not) 7 medical students to literally try their hands at examining my hernia.
I looked at him and said, "I'm really going to kill you." Once again ... he smiled.