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Most absurd patient complaint ever?


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I had a patient call my clinic manager and complain that I asked him (adult male) to take his shirt off so I could listen to his heart and lungs.  He stated (secondhand info, obviously) that every other doctor he'd ever had had only ever listened through his shirt.

 

I was floored.  Not that there were lazy providers out there, but that someone, even with ulterior motives (which I suspect but won't go into here) would try and complain about standard-of-care care.

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2 come to mind:   pt came to ER because they SAW a spider in their house. that's it. my dx? Nl exam after spider viewing   young lady waits for 4 hrs to see me in ER for mildly dry and chapped lip

Had a dude complain that I didn't maintain eye contact with him while doing a hernia check...   Had a lady complain that I put on gloves to examine her pelvic area. Said It was insulting because it

No one gets to do this but high dollar plastic surgeons.   I find it insulting that you don't want to help people. Your posts have always been degrading to me and I don't care for your attitude towa

I had a pt give my MA crap today because he got a bill for $23.04 for a "preventive counseling" on his last visit. We talked about weight loss, etoh, smoking etc. He was raising hell about it and wanted us to do something about it right now. On a Friday... 20 minutes till knockoff... We told him we would contact billing for him and he was really pissed. I almost told my MA "eff it, have him come down and I'll give him 23 bucks and change." but he needs to learn to be patient and not be such an @$$

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

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On rotations I was reported to my preceptor for NOT hitting on a patient.  Obviously she had some issues, but called my "detached, serious, overly professional" behavior "disrespectful" to someone of "her stature" in some reference to the local sexual attraction scale.  

 

What was funny is the way she couched it at first (on her next visit, when she refused to see me again) that she had had a problem with me (turned out to be NOT) hitting on her that it caused a MAJOR freakout in the office, as it should.  But then the story came out and we all had a good laugh.

 

Obviously her personal elevator doesn't quite reach some of the upper floors.  

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This didn't happen to me, but a close friend and colleague.

 

When I was in the military, my colleague noticed that a patient had gotten multiple off-base prescriptions for high dose narcotics. She called her in to talk about it. The patient flipped out and made a false claim of physical assault. This was the wife of a high ranking officer. Our command tried to cover it up and they tried to court martial my colleague and ruin her career as a provider. We all fought for her, were deposed, and wrote sworn statements on her behalf. Ultimately, it was thrown out and no court martial occurred.

 

I put in my paperwork for separation shortly after.

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2 come to mind:

 

pt came to ER because they SAW a spider in their house. that's it. my dx? Nl exam after spider viewing

 

young lady waits for 4 hrs to see me in ER for mildly dry and chapped lips. my tx plan? apply chapstick or similar product.

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Well, chief complaint might be the guy who took a nap on the couch and woke up with a numb tingly arm, which resolved before EMS got there.  

 

Neuro and MS exam wnl L arm NVI likely paresthesia due to inadvertent compression self resolved return to MD if...

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There are a lot of nutty people out there. I tend to take to too personally at times. But I had to laugh when a new patient no - showed, but then called 15 minutes later and demanded to talk to me. I refused to take the call since she no-showed. She then left the message that she was mad as hell at me and would never come back and will spread the word for no one to see us. Why? Because she had driven all the way from Seattle to see me and when she arrived at our office building, the Waste Management truck was picking up the dumpster and prevented her from entering the parking lot on the north side of our building. (There was one on the south side that was open). Somehow this was my fault and communicated to her that I really didn't care about my patients.

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I had a patient complain one time because when I was standing and talking to them I had my eyelids closed too much, like I was asleep and didn't get enough rest.  Must be a getting older thing.  I had a former SP in cardiology that had the same habit.  Apparently my closed eyes didn't keep me from prescribing her a door prize however.

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In this panel I inherited from the retired doc I have had so many people get upset about having to actually disrobe for a complete physical. 

I go in first, meet them while they are dressed, take a full history and then leave the room to write the lab order while they change.

 

SO many of them say they have never been made to do this in all these years...... I ask them bluntly how am I supposed to see skin cancer, varicose veins, markings or color much less do a breast exam with their clothes on?.... Most look at me blankly.

 

Deep Sigh - palm to forehead - I have a permanent dent

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I had a patient come into the ER because she accidentally stepped on the back of a sleeping snake. Didn't get bit. Just stepped on the snake and ran inside. I would think most people would just be stoked they averted a snake bite and laugh about it. Instead she came to the ER to "make sure everything was OK."

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The story above about the patient being weirded out having to take his shirt off reminds me of another...I did a rectal exam on an old lady with back pain and leg weakness. I told her family why I needed to do it beforehand...checking rectal tone was part of a complete neuro exam for such a complaint. Despite explaining it her son later stood outside the room and motioned for me, then literally asked me "I don't understand why you anally probed my mother." ANALLY PROBED. Made me feel like SUCH a creeper. Yes - it's because I WANTED to put a finger in your 85 year old mom's butt!

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The story above about the patient being weirded out having to take his shirt off reminds me of another...I did a rectal exam on an old lady with back pain and leg weakness. I told her family why I needed to do it beforehand...checking rectal tone was part of a complete neuro exam for such a complaint. Despite explaining it her son later stood outside the room and motioned for me, then literally asked me "I don't understand why you anally probed my mother." ANALLY PROBED. Made me feel like SUCH a creeper. Yes - it's because I WANTED to put a finger in your 85 year old mom's butt!

 

 

For those who are new to the profession, or are students, key point here is that informed consent MUST be obtained, either from patient or legal guardian. Years back in one of the journals there was a malpractice case report on such a situation where the patient refused DRE in spite of multiple requests for same with explanation as to significance, had it performed anyway, and was successful in their litigation for physical assault.

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A 26 year old man came in after spending the weekend camping and was barefoot most of the time.  

 

CC: Dry, flaking  skin.  

Dx: Dry, flaking skin.

Prescription:  Go to walmart and buy a PedEgg. 

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For those who are new to the profession, or are students, key point here is that informed consent MUST be obtained, either from patient or legal guardian. Years back in one of the journals there was a malpractice case report on such a situation where the patient refused DRE in spite of multiple requests for same with explanation as to significance, had it performed anyway, and was successful in their litigation for physical assault.

Oh, obviously.  I'm a stickler for verbal consent for normal physical exam stuff, even if it's just "...., OK?"  In the case that prompted this, the guy took off his shirt per my request and then apparently had second thoughts about it afterwards.  Pretty sure there's an economic component to the complaint...

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And sometimes folks are anxious to show you things.... no boundaries or filters.

 

Guy asked if he could text me pictures of his hemorrhoids from home so he didn't have to come in --- selfie taken a smudge too far.

 

Guy who worked for the cable company years ago - out behind a housing development in the trees - nature called - he peed on a tree - using hands that had cleared aside poison ivy.

 

I walk into the exam room and he quite literally drops his drawers and says "THIS SHIT HURTS".

 

His entire set of personal parts were red, swollen, bumpy and almost unrecognizable.

 

All female staff that day. Two of us applied with full consent topical lidocaine to get him out the door after his steroid shot and rx's.

 

AWKWARD - he honestly wouldn't have cared who helped him, though -- it really was quite awful.

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There was a family plan at my ER a couple years ago. Dad found a dead bat he picked up and found to be wasn't dead and bit him. Then gave the bat to his son and bit him whom gave to sister and bit her, then mom took the bat away and bit her as well. Of course no obvious puncture wounds. We didn't have enough immunoglobulin so the nursing manager had to driver 3 hrs away to fresno to pick it up and back while the family that likely didn't get bit waited.

 

Another patient came in worried his liver was failing.

Me: "why do you think you liver is failing."

Patient: "look my hands are turning yellow."

Me: "that looks like mustard." Then got the sanitizer and wiped it off.

Patient: "I did cook with curry last night....so, you don't think my liver is bad."

 

 

Another patient complaint:

Orientals controlling her body from a transmitter they placed in her teeth.

 

Another patient:

Bottle of hand sanitizer and salt shaker in his rectum.

 

The list goes on and on. Love the ER.

 

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk

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Had a young troop try embarrassing me in front of my subordinates for not giving him time off for a non-thrombosed hemorrhoid...I was less than polite with him (in private) - I told him it was obvious he wasn't used to any sort of physical discomfort and wondered out loud if he'd be one of those guys that would try to call in a CASEVAC in Afghanistan because his bum was a little sore...and that I'd be having a chat with his Sgt Maj about his insubordinate behaviour.

 

Problem solved, problem staying solved.

 

SK

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I had a pt give my MA crap today because he got a bill for $23.04 for a "preventive counseling" on his last visit. We talked about weight loss, etoh, smoking etc. He was raising hell about it and wanted us to do something about it right now. On a Friday... 20 minutes till knockoff... We told him we would contact billing for him and he was really pissed. I almost told my MA "eff it, have him come down and I'll give him 23 bucks and change." but he needs to learn to be patient and not be such an @$$

 

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk

 

 

explain to them that is the bill and they are responsible for it

 

People like this drive me crazy and they need to be told medicine costs money, and i would ask the front desk to collect all copays/co-insurance from them BEFORE they are seen for future visits!!

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Disclaimer: As a Corpsman not a PA. 

 

I had a young marine come in and see me saying that he was allergic to alcohol because the weekend before he was drinking in the morning and later that afternoon had a head ache and felt nauseous. I suggested that if he doesn't like how he felt after drinking alcohol that he no longer do it.

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One I had recently I think qualifies for most ridiculous chief complaint I've seen.

 

Mom brings in 14-y/o daughter because "I want to find out if she's a virgin or not".  To the ER.  A level-1 trauma center ER at that.  

 

Mind you, there was no complaint of her being raped- just "I think she had sex and she's not telling me, so I want to know if she's a virgin still or not".

 

After the synapses in my head stopped misfiring, I asked the patient and she was refusing any sort of examination.  I advised the mom that one, this was not a medical emergency and an exam was unnecessary, and two, I will not sexually assault her daughter in any manner, especially by doing a pelvic exam.  

 

The mom and older sister became irate.  "That's her mom!  She can demand anything she wants".

 

Me- "Um, no, you cannot force me to sexually assault her, and under no circumstance will I do it"

 

They never understood.  Eventually they left on their own, but it almost came down to getting our police to escort them out.  All because a mom wanted a licensed medical provider to sexually assault her daughter because she wanted to know if she was a virgin or not.

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CC:  "Finger laceration, can't control bleeding."  Pt. has dish towel wrapped around digit and is quite anxious having cut finger with a knife at home while slicing food.  Gown up, face mask on, 1/4" Penrose tourniquet applied to base of digit before removing towel.  Begin to remove towel and no active bleeding noted (thank goodness for tourniquet).  Get towel off and there is some dried blood on pad of digit but no noted laceration.  Release tourniquet, no active bleeding noted, so begin to gently clean digit with Penrose remaining at the ready at the base of digit.  Keep cleaning, keep cleaning, keep cleaning, and ultimately tip of digit is clean and there is no evidence of laceration.  Flex, extend, twist tip looking for source and no bleeding.  Lady ends up leaving ED more embarrassed than any pt. that I've ever seen.

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After working in primary care for 3 years, I have learned that the patients who value me the most and have the best reports about their visits with me are those who are educated and intelligent. Those who are poorly educated view me less favorably. Unfortunately, when you treat primarily poor people, the things that make a provider valuable go unappreciated because people don't have the intelligence to know when they have received something of value. I keep making an issue of having independent practice rights in all fifty states. If PAs could hang their own shingle, they could cater (market) to a certain targeted group who would most benefit and value what is provided. Today, practices what to be all things to all people. It is a bad approach. I think primary care could be fun again under circumstances where the PA determines how patients are scheduled, what patients are accepted into the practice, what the PA will treat and not treat, and the PA sets prices. Do more valued work for a premium price for fewer people. 

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