Just flicking through my local paper, I started to read a "column" written by a local A&E doc.
This is apparently, one of the "most valuable lessons" she ever learned as a medical student :
She relates how she "was on a ward round with a senior doctor, She stopped us all at the foot of a patient's bed and asked us just to look and pronounce the person in it "sick" or "not sick" Tick the box. If you look too closely at a photograph you lose the impression of the whole and that's important in medicine. I have used this test, mostly subconsciously I think, ever since."
Oh dear. A judgemental doctor with no shades of grey. The scariest and worse kind in my experience. Amazing how a medical degree suddenly confers psychic powers and a divine right to simply diagnose-by-glance. Funny, but I've been told I was "not sick" just before my bowel perforated. I've been told I was "not sick" at the very same moment I was having a stroke. I was even told I was "not sick" by a succession of doctors watching my 10 year old little body waste away who were utterly confident they "just knew" and didn't need to run any tests.
I'll leave her with a little training from my consultant. "Don't ever be one of those doctors. Don't ever think you know better than your patient. If you can't find out what's wrong with them, then it's you who has failed. Don't blame them, don't judge them, blame yourself."
The next time I find myself in the adrenaline haze of flashing lights and an ambulance escort to A&E, I dearly hope doctor-judge-Judy won't be on shift.....