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Aster's avatar

Have you ever embarrassed a doctor or do you think they're immune to it?

Asked by Aster (19546points) August 7th, 2010

Tell us about when you really believe you embarrassed a doctor or he blushed. I don’t think they want us to think they’re human or ordinary enough to bow to embarrassment.

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13 Answers

Frenchfry's avatar

I am sure the are immune to it. I suppose they have heard it all.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Frenchfry is probably right. The closest I’ve probably come is when the parents had a party and our dentist was invited. When I saw him, I asked him to take a look at my teeth. If he was embarrassed, he hid it well. My parents, on the other hand, were. It was a life lesson to not ask for free professional advice in a personal setting. (Keep in mind, this took place long before the internet.)

zzc's avatar

Oh yes, they can get embarrassed. It’s “unprofessional” to show it. They can spend some time “gathering” and composing themselves before going into a potentially embarrassing situation with a patient. It’s part of their training, over many years in school, to be professional, so that the patient is not made uncomfortable. They are trained not to show it, if caught by surprise, but on leaving, might have to take a minute to compose, before seeing the next patient.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t think they’re immune at all. I’ve done it at least three times.

One time I was having a problem with persistent itching, down—you know—yes, there. The doctor asked me if it was inside our outside. I said, “Inside what? Outside what?”—because there’s a lot of ambiguity in that area, if you ask me. And he sort of stammered and didn’t answer the question. That one amazed me. He shouldn’t have been at a loss for words.

Another time I got the giggles something awful at the dentist’s office (this was before they were all worried about AIDs—he wasn’t wearing a mask). Every time he bent over me with his instruments, I started laughing again. I couldn’t help it. I was just giggling out of control. It was because I kept thinking about how I was looking up his nose. I thought it would be fun if there were a little TV in there that I could watch while he worked, and the more I imagined it, the funnier it was. I couldn’t help myself. (I was a grown woman, probably in my 40s at the time.) He was getting more and more perturbed, and finally he demanded to know what I was giggling at. I didn’t want to tell him . . . but he insisted . . . and then he turned beet red, and I was really sorry. He called his assistant over and made me tell her too, and she started laughing. Unfortunately that didn’t fix me. It just made it worse. I tried really, really hard to get it under control, but he did have to keep stopping work every time I broke up again. Forever after, I couldn’t look at his nose without having to kind of suffocate myself.

The third time was just recent, and I should have behaved myself better, but the devil ran away with my tongue. The dentist (a different one—wonderful man, a genius, and I love him) was talking about what would happen if my tooth got infected after he worked on it. He kept talking about pus (yuck) and went on and on about what if it got all pus-y. Finally I asked him how he spelled that, and he said “P-u-s-s-y.” So then I asked him how he pronounced that. He stopped, blushed, and then ignored the question. Naughty me.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@Jeruba When I was working as a receptionist for a family doctor, a guy called up and said that he had a rash on his arm that was full of puss. The appointment note I created read “pussy arm rash”.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Family doctors are more likely to get embarrassed, especially if they don’t do regular pelvic/rectal exams. Specialists, however, such as urologists and gynecologists, aren’t going to after the first year of practice, because that’s what they do all day, everyday, and they’ve heard it all. And this goes for female urologists and male gynecologists, too.

perspicacious's avatar

Yes. When I was in labor he was standing next to my bed. A contraction peaked and I grabbed his behind. We still laugh about that.

Another time at the pediatrician’s office when my regular doc was out and someone was filling in for her, my daughter was very ill with high fever. I asked for a strep test and she insisted my child didn’t have strep. I didn’t agree. She finally ordered the test and a few minutes later was apologizing to me. The test was positive for strep. She was young and said she learned something that day. Listen to the moms.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@Jeruba Your dentist story about the TV in the nostril, had me laughing so hard as I read the entire thing. Bad news – I have a dentist appointment coming up in less than a month & I swear – if I start laughing the second my dentist leans over me, I blame you! Thank you for sharing that wonderful story. I am still having little giggle fits as I write this. I just know I wont be able to forget this story before my appointment. They are gonna have to bring in an anesthesiologist to put me to sleep – just for a regular cleaning.

Jeruba's avatar

@rpmpseudonym, I had a hard time just writing it. It took me a while.

When I had to explain the problem to the dentist and his assistant, I could hardly speak. Every time I tried, I just kept sputtering into the giggles all over again, like a dumb little schoolkid. What made it even worse was that he had an ample nose. You could have fit a little TV screen up there.

But I absolutely firmly believe that if something is funny, I’m entitled to laugh, so I wasn’t embarrassed. Poor guy, he was.

Whenever I started to calm down, I would then think about him going home and saying to his wife, “Honey, you won’t believe what happened today.” That set me off again.

In the end he just stood there warily with his implements in his hands and looked at me as if I were a lion in the jungle, asking me, “Are you all right now?”

Maybe your dentist will wear a mask and you won’t even think about a TV set.

rpm_pseud0name's avatar

@Jeruba Nope, pretty sure – mask or no mask – I’m gonna laugh like an idiot & probably choke on that little round mirror utensil. By the way, reading what you just wrote, had me laughing again. What is it about this story that I (we) find so funny? It’s not particularly humorous in content, yet the second I start thinking about it, I can’t stop giggling. (giggled just now, again) It’s not that hard, deep belly, rolling laughter either. I get those short, rumble strip like giggles, where I let out a little bit of breath with each giggle, never inhaling. At least now I have a 100% effective prescription for when I feel down. & I thank you for that.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t know, @rpmpseudonym, but these things happen to me. I used to get in trouble in school sometimes. I also occasionally saw my otherwise dignified parents lose it just like that in church. Sometimes something sets me off at dinner, and my husband just says, “She’s having one of her fits.” The absurdity of it is just so absurd.

You’re surely welcome.

john65pennington's avatar

I went to this doctor one time with a hurting back. instead of taking tests, he told me to go home and rest and take tylenol. i had a burning pain down my leg. he insisted on the tylenol and i called him a quack doctor. i was in severe pain at the time and this really ticked me off. later that night, i went to the ER and an MRI showed a ruptured disc in my lower back. i called him a quack then and i will call him a quack again today. he needs his medical license taken away.

downtide's avatar

I’ve never actually embarrassed a doctor, I don’t think. But the first time I went to see my psychiatrist, for gender identity disorder, I think I shocked him by the way I look. (I look totally male, even though biologically I’m not).

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