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From piles to pile up

Our diarist has to manoeuvre his way through a tricky consultation and then has a near-death experience with a couple of fashion models. All in a week's work for a newly qualified GP

‘I want to see Britain's best proctologist.' Now, as opening gambits go, this was a real winner. Nothing in the young lady's demeanour suggested she was anything out of the ordinary. But in one fell swoop she accomplished several significant objectives. She established her agenda. She narrowed down the clinical question to quite a specific bit of anatomy. Most important, she left me so baffled that she ensured a patient-centred consultation. What on earth did she mean? Where did she get that word from? Is she after corrective or possibly cosmetic surgery?'

The answer was surprisingly banal. The young lady had haemorrhoids. And, oh yes, she had done her homework. Google has a lot to answer for.

Unfortunately she had skipped past all the peer-reviewed websites and journals and plunged straight into herbs and crystals.

I recovered enough to start outlining the options that were based in reality. These either horrified her (‘Surgery?!') or amused her ‘(Diet? Why, doctor, I am never constipated. Except for the IBS, of course').

Nevertheless, by the end of the 10 minutes we had established a bit of a rapport and I was beginning to claw my way back into the consultation. All was going well, with both parties satisfied, until her parting, hand-on-the-door shot – which floored me again.

‘I'll just carry on using the cucumber scented wipes, then.'

At my startled look she informed me that this was all she ever used.

‘I think that's a bit over the top,' I said weakly, but the door was already closing. I was left wondering again, this time trying to detect the elusive scent of cucumber.

Near-death experience

I may have to draw my patient experiences to a close just there. I am still somewhat shaken up following my near-death experience with two fashion models.

No, this is not the stuff of the tabloids; no three in a bed romp prompting a premature MI. The scene of the crime was an Oxford roundabout, after an interview (the joys of perpetual locuming). These two girls drove into and destroyed my bright yellow BMW.

They told the police that their TomTom told them to do it. Better that than the voices, I suppose. Apparently the sat nav told them to abruptly turn right from the middle lane of a dual carriageway. Apparently the sat nav neglected to say ‘mirror-signals-manoeuvre'. In fact, it is my belief that even a casual glance would have revealed that there was a BRIGHT YELLOW BMW occupying the space they wanted to enter.

Apart from the sat nav comment, the only other thing they said was that they were late for their fashion show, which would explain their unusual and very revealing outfits. They were actually dressed identically with matching wigs. Initially I thought I had struck my head. This might explain why I took their address, but not their phone number, much to the horror and disappointment of my insurance company and my single friends. Sorry lads.

Dr Geoff Tipper is a newly qualified GP in Maidenhead, Berkshire

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