Because atherosclerosis isn’t the only matter of the heart medical professionals should be concerned with.
Have you ever heard some grizzled old doctor in a medical drama tell the young intern, “Kid, some things they don’t teach ya in medical school,” just before the scene fades to black and the credits roll? Well, it seems medical schools are tired of getting that bad rap and are now actually attempting to teach everything.
Case in point is this multiple choice question that a presumed medical student came across in their text book and posted to Twitter much to the amusement of the thousands who saw it.
池田 (@NzTuna7) September 30, 2016
The question in the book reads:
A hospitalized patient, who has been having feelings of affection for some time, suddenly puts their hand in the doctor’s hand while being treated. What is the appropriate response for the doctor to make?
At this point I would say “put it on ice and prep the ER for reattachment,” and then begin wiggling my eyebrows while flicking the ashes from an imaginary cigar. But luckily this is a multiple choice question to guide us along the right path.
The choices are:
1 – Ask what’s the matter
2 – Do nothing and leave the hand there
3 – Silently brush away the hand
4 – Hold their hand too
5 – Shout: “What are you doing?!”
My gut instinct would have been number five, but considering how well that has gone over in past dates, I would advise against it in this situation too. The textbook agrees, saying that it would “harm the doctor-patient relationship.”
The correct answer according to the book would be #1: asking “what’s the matter?” According to the textbook the reasoning is that there are a variety of reasons the patient might have taken their doctor’s hand. Rather than harboring romantic feelings the patient may have built up a more parental image of their medical specialist.
And so, by acting surprised and confused by the action, it places the doctor on a more equal level with the patient and gives them an opportunity to withdraw the hand in a way that would retain their dignity.
Now, you might not be satisfied with that answer, and you wouldn’t be alone. Commenters had this to say about it.
“Boy, it’s tough being a doctor.”
“I would like to hear the book’s advice if the patient answers, ‘What’s the matter is I’m in love with you.'”
“The answer becomes moot if they take their ‘doctor-patient relationship’ to the next level.”
Sure enough, love is as complex as the endocrine system. With so many unpredictable forces at play, no mere multiple choice question can cover it all.
Well, maintaining love is difficult at least…but ruining it is super-easy.
Take it from me, a PhD in turning people off (magna cum laude), and forget what that book says. If a misguided doe-eyed patient goes for real-estate in a doctor’s hand, all they have to do is lay a nice fresh fart in the proximity and watch all the love drain out of them like pus from a sweaty carbuncle.
Then, it’s back to the business at hand.