Tuesday, 7 February 2012

“Doc, I Think I’ve Got the Clap”

Last year was my first time in a sexual health clinic. As a student these are very hit or miss - you can see loads, or every patient can refuse you. Being female definitely helps in this context, and I was having a very busy afternoon.

A doctor called me into his consultation as he walked past me in the hall. The patient was a young, scruffy looking, ex-heroin addict. He sits down, his pinpoint pupils staring at us as he thinks what to say.

“Doc, I think I’ve got the clap”.

“Can you tell me what you mean by the clap?” asks the doctor.

“You know , the clap. Gorhoea or summin’ ?”.

“Gonorrhea? What makes you think you have it?”

A full history is performed. After the examination we hand him a urine pot.

“Please fill this with urine then bring it back to us”.

“Now?” asks the patient.

“Yes please”.

The doctor and I turn and walk towards the door, to show the patient to the toilet. As we turn back, to direct him, we see the patient whipping his trousers down and picking up the pot. This was one of those moments in life where everything is in slow motion.

“Noooooooooooooooooo…. Not here, we think you will be much more comfortable in the toilet”, we say as we guide him to the door. As the door shuts the doctor and I make eye contact - both crying with laughter.

Patients- please don’t take things so literally.

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