b3ta.com user Dave the Explosive Newt
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Woo for


and, of course n3wt

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» Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hospitals

Firstly, being a GP is one of the hardest jobs in the world. Unlike hospital medicine, where we can call in a more senior doc, order a scan or just keep you in for observations if things look a bit dodgy, they have to make The Hardest Decision about whether to manage by themselves or refer onto a specialist based on just their history taking and examination skills. So cut them some slack, please - almost all of the GPs out there do a fantastic job for their patients.

That said, I can now discuss some of the quite extreme quackery I have been fortunate enough to witness as a medical student.

* The GP who diagnosed everything as 'viral'. This included:
- Lymphoma
- Anorexia nervosa
- A stroke (posterior territory)
- Chronic urinary retention (the poor chap had a bladder swollen to nearly three litres - normal is 500ml!)

* The locum GP who spoke nearly no English. To a patient suffering from a mental health issue "You have mad health, isn't it?"

And now some general medical advice.

1. Do you have random back/limb pain? Take painkillers. And don't just take 500mg of paracetomol then worry that it's unnatural - you won't achieve effective concentrations in your blood and it won't work. Treatment dose paracetamol 1gram every 4-6 hours as required to a maximum of 4 grams in a day. If you are still in pain then you can see the doctor.

2. By the same token, don't suffer in silence. Chest pain is *always* serious, especially when it is crushing, accompanied by nausea, vomiting and shortness of breath and radiates to your jaw and left arm.

3. Also don't mess around with children's health. Bring them in if your child doesn't look right (as a parent you are a far better judge of this than a tired junior doctor who has never met your child before)

4. Stop smoking for fuck's sake.

5. While the NHS is not doing amazingly from a financial point of view, you will be surprised to know this does not inform the average doctor's management of you very much. If your doctor wouldn't give you a scan, that's because you didn't need the equivalent of 20 years of background radiation being pumped directly into your brain.
(Sun 14th Mar 2010, 21:41, More)

» Out of my depth

Medical drama
Most of the nerves that supply your body come off from your spinal cord, except for 12 which just sprout out from the brain. A few of these come out through the front of your skull. The boss handed me a scalpel and asked me to follow them from the brainstem outwards. Unfortunately, I knew bugger all about this area, but the problems didn't stop there: I was holding the scalpel wrong, I couldn't separate the membranes, I even cut through some of the nerve fibres. After half an hour of faffing about getting nowhere, I had to get help.

Luckily, I'm a medical student and this wasn't a real operation. The person on the table had been dead for 2 months and their brain was lying on a box next to me, so it was probably a little late to do much.
(Fri 15th Oct 2004, 10:00, More)

» Doctors, Nurses, Dentists and Hospitals

More med student stories
Orthopaedic surgeon who believed that most of the patients he fixed the broken hips of should be instead euthanised as "let's face it, they'll be dead in a year anyway. I think the hip should be linked to the heart so that when one breaks, the other just stops."

And then there was the time that gynaecologist's glasses fell off into the open abdomen of a patient whose fibroids he was removing...
(Mon 15th Mar 2010, 20:41, More)