Wayfaring MD

I am a family medicine resident who likes to highlight the hilarious in medicine as I write about patients, medical school, residency, medical missions, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

HIPAA is for reals, folks. All of my "patient stories" have been changed to protect patient privacy. I will change any or all identifiers, including age, location, race/ethnicity, sex, medical history, and quotes. Also, I am an anonymous internet person. Why should you trust an anonymous internet person to give you medical advice? Don't ask me, ask your doctor!
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Posts tagged "patient stories"

Attending: Which one is Mr. B again?

Wayfaring: The one who’s using the dead neighbor’s oxygen. 

Attending: You know, I picture 2 shotgun houses about 10 feet apart with a really long tube running out the window from one to another so he can steal the O2. 

Wayfaring: I pictured more of a Misery type situation. You know, neighbor imprisoned in a small room in the house so they can collect the neighbor’s O2 and social security checks.

Or maybe the neighbor was already a few days dead and was on the floor starting to decompose and they went and pried the nasal cannula off his face and then stole it….

Attending: Wow Wayfaring, you have an unexpectedly dark mind. 


Intern presenting new patient: Mr. B is on 2L of oxygen all the time at home.

Attending: I thought you said he didn’t have a doctor. Who got his O2 for him?

Intern: Oh he stole it from his dead neighbor. 

Wayfaring: Was the neighbor dead before or after he stole it?

  • Me (to patient in hospital): Hey, I thought you were supposed to go home yesterday!
  • Patient: (shoves a HANDFUL of Tums in his mouth) well my doctors said my calcium level was real high and they don't know why, so they're keeping me till they can figure it out
  • Me: Hmmm.... I have a pretty good idea why.

Med student presenting patient: This is a 76 year old female with a history of what looks like recurrent vaginal shingles…

Resident: wait, that’s just herpes, right?


Patient: Ooh, have I lost any weight since last time? I’m on a new diet!

Me: Really, what have you been eating?

Patient: Bacon. 

Me: *holding in laugh* Well, let me check your weight…. No ma’am, actually, you’ve gained 3 pounds. 


At that point I just wanted to say, 


Dr. Wayfarin, I feel like crap! I don’t even feel good enough to crack jokes on people no more. You gotta get me back to settin people straight!


Ms. V. Slim: I keep getting sinus infections. It’s probably because I smoke.
Me: You’re probably right. You need to give up that stuff anyway, you know.
Ms. V. Slim: I know, I’m trying to quit. And when I do smoke, I blow the smoke up above my head.
Me: **puzzled look**
Ms. V. Slim: You know, because the smoke rises. That way I don’t breathe it into my nose and it can’t get to my sinuses. 

ED attending: Hey [Dr. Urologist]. I’ve got a guy here who crushed up viagra and injected it into his penis. He’s had an erection for over 24 hours. Will you come see him?

Urologist: Aww hell. 

Does this mean I can keep eating CiCi’s pizza?

Patient after being informed that his insulin dose was being increased.

Patient: I got Sometimers disease.

Wayfaring: What’s that now?


Patient: Cuz I forget stuff sometimes so I’ve got Sometimers, not Allthetimers. 


you’ll just have to picture in your head the scene I saw in the ER recently. The ER doc kept saying, “I wish I could take a picture…for the chart, you know"…

Overdose patient who was:

  • 300+ pounds 
  • covered in about a thousand scabies bites
  • black stains on his lips, cheeks, entire stomach, and legs where he spilled a cup full of charcoal
  • laying in bed, mouth open
  • snoring
  • drooling charcoal

Oh wait, let me give you a visual: 

Doc: Do you take blood pressure medicine?

Patient: Only when my sister is in town visiting. 


Because fibromyalgia just wasn’t enough. 


Keep a watch also on the faults of the patients, which often make them lie about the taking of things prescribed. -Hippocrates

When discussing medication adherence with patients with chronic diseases (especially diabetes and HIV), I always ask “How often do you miss your meds” rather than “are you taking your medicine ok?” No one is perfect, and I’ve found they’re a bit more apt to tell the truth when you just go ahead and assume they’ve missed some doses. 

Last week I had a patient tell me at the beginning of the visit she missed her meds about once a week. Then before I left the room I asked her if she needed any refills. She said, “oh yeah, I’ve been out of everything since before Christmas.”

Thaaaat’s what I thought. 



When you’re trying to explain to a worried patient what her newly developed vitiligo is and the only example you can think of is Michael Jackson.