While I understand that some may find this line of conversation less than
appropriate, I think that finding the humor in these stories is an important
chance for levity in what we do. And in some instances, these are teachable
moments, as has been pointed out.
My contribution: Father brings his daughter in for chief complaint of fingernails
not growing. She appears completely well and has no signs/symptoms of
systemic illness. This young school age child adamantly denies nail biting but
that appears to be the diagnosis. Father is not reassured by my assessment
until I point out the normal toenail growth which is present!
Marisa Brett-Fleegler, MD
Children's Hospital Boston
Point taken. I apologize if my previous stories were offensive. This line of
emails has been humorous, primarily because these patients have been, by and
large, healthy and blessed by what seem to be concerned, loving parents. No
one can mock that. These are the lucky ones that have parents that care.
Why not share the humor of those visits, when we all know that this business
brings both joy and unfortunately, tragedy.
I have one more story to share: Mother brings her son in to the pediatrician
for a well child visit. When the pediatrician asks the child if anything is hurting
him, he answers, "My feet." The feet look fine on exam, but the pediatrician
notes that the toes are right up to the tips of the shoes and scrunched.
Diagnosis: Shoes too small. My son and I left the pediatrician's office and
went shopping for new shoes. He needed shoes 2 sizes bigger than what he
was wearing. Draw your own conclusions. I'm done.
Christine D. Darr, MD, FAAP
Medical Director, Pediatric Division
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