The first time my then boyfriend (later to be DrH) was introduced to members of my family they suddenly felt compelled to share their medical history and current ailments with him. In our church congregations the same thing has happened. He gets approached by people that he doesn't even know very well, but who know him, asking for his advice on medical issues they have.
My DrH is very generous and kind, he takes all of their questions in stride. He has had the opportunity to help steer friends to the right doctors, visit friends/acquaintances in the hospital, provide reassurance to their family and friends, and to be a friendly face in the business of medicine.
Last night as I conducted my weekly phone visit with my parents my mother said "when your dad gets home you or your husband need to talk to him about finishing his course of antibiotics. He only took two, and thinks he doesn't need to take anymore."
That exchange reminded me of all the other questions he has been faced with:
- I have had this pain in my back for the last couple of years, what do you think it could be?
- Every time I swallow I feel a little sting, any ideas?
- I have this spot on my skin that is always a little dry and scratchy. What should I put on it?
- Have you ever heard of ????
- What do you think of Dr X?
- I have seen several doctors and no one can figure out what is wrong with me. What is your experience with X?
- Who is the best X?
- My son has a rash that won't go away, how should we treat it?
- I need a prescription for x, can you get it for me? (NO)
- Is it normal to have x?
- I have a strange sensation in my x, should I see a doctor about that?
- I had blood work done today and my x was x, should I be worried?
- What do you think of this x diet?
- If this were you, what would you do?
Because DrH is "a doctor" (it didn't matter at what stage of his training) people just assumed that he would have the answer to anything. And because he is such a good guy, if he didn't know and thought it was something worth looking into - he would and get back to them all in the name of gaining experience.
But my favorite response to those with questions is "come over about 5:00, I'll get the butter knife sharpened and we can take care of it then". No one really wants anything done, they just want to talk about it. That seems to be a portion of a doctors job, listening.
He has gotten used to all the questions. Me, I still think it is weird. But on the other hand being married to a doctor has made me a bit of a hypochondriac. I routinely tell DrH about a pain I am having in my head just in case he comes home and finds me passed out on the floor - he will know where to look first:-)