Wit'n'wisdom 18 April 2011

AS IF my name didn’t bring me enough ridicule when I was growing up, my receptionist decided to add to my pain. She burst in excitedly recently to tell me one of my Vietnamese patients had rung to cancel his appointment. He was, to quote her, “Too busy to see doctor wanking.”

Dr Gillian Douglas, now of Melrose Park, SA, was working at the Flinders University Health Service some time ago. There, she tells us, she became used to attending people of all nationalities. Nonetheless, she tended to fall back on her stock phrases, sometimes with interesting results. 

A young French woman came in for her Pap smear, and they chatted as she got ready for the examination. 

She spoke English really well, and told the doctor that she was studying for a post graduate degree in marine biology.

Once she was on the bed, Dr Douglas asked her to put her heels together and let her knees flop outwards, like a frog. The patient looked