Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Magic Wand

Patients, again, give me too much credit. See exhibit A in the post below and you will see my personal world record for a patient medical history and polypharmacy. This gentleman came in with real disease and fake disease and real complaints and fake complaints and thrust Exhibit A at me. This treatise was hand-written by him and his dear spouse who was at the bedside. Exhibit A did not reproduce well on the scanner so let me complete the picture for you.

Exhibit A, in its original form, came on a yellow sheet of paper. There were four different colors of ink used. The patient and his wife also informed me that it was "not up to date".

At this point I asked my nursing staff to dust off the old magic wand and make sure it was holding a charge. I certainly had precious little from western medicine to offer.

We see two or three "magic wand" patients a day in the ED. Everything from "well they told me I had cancer three years ago but I never went back and now I'm puking and pooping blood" to "my boyfriend doesn't pay attention to me and now I almost want to kill myself but instead I scratched myself on the arm with a fork."



  1. Am I reading Exhibit A correctly?
    Did he really have a hospital stay from 2/23/06 til 1/5/07?
    What happened to Utilization Review?

  2. Believe it or not I did not ask. Then I would have had to ask about everything else. I tried to focus on his vital signs and his top three complaints, a good rule of thumb for docs in the ED.

  3. I don't know about you but I think it should be a rule that you can only have one complaint per visit