🤔 What to do when someone asks you for a curbside consult? 😪

As doctors we often get cornered by people we know, in various social settings, asking for our “quick advice” on this rash, or that pain, or in recent times, the abnormal lab report that has been bothering them. 🥴

Without digging deeper, it’s not possible to determine whether they have already discussed this issue with another doctor (and only seeking a “harmless” quick second opinion from someone they trust). Or this is the first time they’ve ever disclosed this to any doctor! 👩🏻‍⚕️

We don’t want to answer these queries with limited information, as that would be a big disservice to the patient. Most conditions need a painstaking gathering of history, a scrupulous examination, and often some quick referencing of guidelines or other resources. Quick answers are usually wrong in medicine! 🙊

Continue reading 🤔 What to do when someone asks you for a curbside consult? 😪

Let Her Sleep!

“Doctor, can you come quickly, my mother is unwell!”

Even after doing thousands of home visits, I dread phone calls like these. If it’s an actual emergency, I can hardly help with the meagre tools I have in my bag, and the family had better call the ambulance and rush the patient to the hospital without waiting for me. On the other hand, there are genuine conditions in which a home visit by a doctor can help much more than transporting an unresponsive elderly to the unfamiliar environs of a hospital ICU. It’s quite tough to decide on the phone, which is which.

Continue reading Let Her Sleep!