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Voices Carry

Wisecracking doc that I work with recently had a little surprise. 

He was walking down the hallway and saw a nurse escorting a mother and her overweight young daughter into a room. Daughter was holding her right eye. 

When the patient’s registration was completed, he signed up for the patient, took a swig of coffee, and said “OK, looks like it’s time to go see what’s wrong with Honey Boo Boo‘s eye.” 

A couple of the nurses chuckled and he had a smirk on his face as he walked into the room and pulled the curtain. Only the patient and her mother could see his face after that, but his smirk probably faded pretty quickly. The first words out of the mother’s mouth were a stern “Honey Boo Boo, huh?”


Isn’t it just like a bullshitter to be quick on his feet, though?

There was a hesitation and then he began laughing. “Awwww. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean anything bad by saying that. I call EVERYONE that.” 

There was another uncomfortable silence and then he doubled down on his faux pas. 

“OK, Honey, let’s see if we can get your eye feeling better. What happened?” In the ensuing banter back and forth, it seemed as if the mother’s irritation had waned. Then the moron starts in again. He pokes his head out from the curtain and asks the nurse “Ummm Chelsea, Honey, could you pleeeease grab me some tetracaine eye drops?”

Chelsea would have none of it. She promptly gave him a stink eye. 

He mouthed the word “Pleeeeease” and put his hands together as if he was praying. 

The stink eye remained. 

He then mouth the word “Starbucks” and expanded his hands to make a “large” gesture. Of course, he knew Chelsea’s weakness. Mocha latte frappucino deluxe. 

She raised an eyebrow. And held up two fingers. He scowled. It was then her turn to smirk as she took a big breath acting as if she was about to say something he didn’t want to hear. He quickly re-thought his predicament. He grimaced momentarily and mouthed the words “OK OK.”

“Sure thing, doc, right away.” 

By the time they were done, everyone was laughing back and forth in the room. A handful of lollipops and an IOU for two Starbucks later and the crisis was averted. 

“Jeez. Does my voice carry that much?” he asked.

A chorous of responses from across the department responded “Yeeessss.” 

“I hope bald Donald Trump from earlier today had a hearing impediment ….” 


This and all posts about patients may be fictional, may be my experiences, may be submitted by readers for publication here, or may be any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate. If you would like to have a patient story published on DrWhiteCoat.com, please e-mail me.


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