It was 8pm . I was quite busy that day . The Mondays are usually this way . Patients that have some issues on Friday or over the weekend tend to call on The Monday. So there are more calls , more messages and more patients to be seen . Sometimes when a patient needs a procedure , it gets postponed to Monday , so the Mondays get very busy. So it was Monday, 8pm . I was out of my house since 7 am . I thought I was done for the day , when I found out a note -message in my pocket . I looked at it and realised that it was a new consult that was called in earlier that afternoon, and I had forgotten about it. I could have seen it in the morning, but next day was quite busy, and this one came in at 2 pm . I always like to clear all work same day and do consults that are called in by 6pm . So even though it was 8 pm I decided to see the patient.
I took the chart and went to the room . I had known his diagnosis by looking at the chart and had seen the x-ray. As I entered the room I saw 84 years old male . He looked quite comfortable. He was on 2l oxygen , saturation was 96 %, good . He was not in any distress. I thought to myself, this should not take long time.
I have my own style of asking questions, may be to 'fit' my style of dictation. So I started asking questions, " do you have high blood pressure, diabetes, TB , heart attack, stroke etc" May be I was in too much hurry or tired , I was asking questions too quickly, he could not answer them . Then it happened . He said , rather slowly, " D O C T OR, I A M 84, -OLD , Y O U A R E Y O U N G , A L L O W M E S O M E T I M E T O A N S W E R ."
I was ashamed of myself, as I take pride in how I talk to patients and explain them medical things. I quietly pulled a chair and said , " I am sorry, tell me what is going on ."