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You couldn’t make it up: tall tales and daft patients

Read the winning entries from our competition to find out the silliest patients, shortest consultations and feeblest requests for a sick note in general practice today.

Least convincing request for a sick note

A young patient came in requesting a sick note. He wanted the note as he had for some time been allergic to various foodstuffs and prone to contact dermatitis when handling money. He had recently started work in a cake shop.

Dr Emily Ball, Southport, Merseyside

Most embarrassing consultation

An overweight patient came to me as their GP for advice on weight loss. We went through the usual discussion of calorie counting, increasing exercise and so on, when in walked my receptionist with my afternoon cup of coffee, accompanied by a lovely doughnut. For the next few seconds, both the patient and I were silent.

Dr Atif Ghaffar, Bloxwich, West Midlands

During the winter of discontent a young man came in complaining of piles. As he got on the couch, nether regions exposed, we had a power cut. Without thinking, I said ‘hang on, I’ll get a candle’. I haven’t seen him since.

Dr Victor Bradbury, Brentwood, Essex

Strangest gift from a patient

A regular schizophrenic and manic depressive patient of mine has recently bought me an outfit that she wants me to wear at her funeral, including accessories.

Dr Lisa Dixon, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex

One of my patients gave me a small bag of dog biscuits. She orders them over the internet and felt my dog ought to try them.

Dr Jennifer Morrison, Lowestoft, Suffolk

Shortest consultation

In the old days when we did our own on-call, I was rung at 3am by an anxious mother who said: ‘We have just given our toddler a glass of orange squash. After he drank it, we realised it was neat and not diluted.’ Still half asleep, I replied: ‘Give him two glasses of water and get him to jump up and down.’ The mum said ‘Thank you’, and rang off. I never did hear what happened next.

Dr Simon Collins, Chatham, Kent

A daughter of a former patient registered with the surgery. My senior partner had provided terminal care to her mother, and I’d met her once shortly before her mother’s inevitable demise. She walked in, said: ‘Not you’ and walked straight out. ‘It’s probably just coincidence but I didn’t want to join my mother,’ she told our practice manager. And this was before Harold Shipman.

Dr Andrew Mimnagh, Waterloo

Daftest patient

A young lady came to see me to discuss the results of her infertility blood tests. She made the appointment after the receptionist had told her that her pregnancy test was positive.

Dr Jacqueline Thompson, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire

A woman requested a visit to her husband, who had chest pain. When I asked how bad the pain was, his wife said: ‘It’s bad, doc – he’s dropped his cigarette.’ He had indeed had an MI and I have used the ability to hold onto a cigarette as a useful screening tool since.

Dr Ian Lawson, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis

A young lady phoned to book an appointment for her cervical smear. The receptionist informed her that it was best done mid-cycle. After a long pause the patient said: ‘But I won’t be coming on my bike.’ Also, an elderly lady came into our practice with a female complaint. She said: ‘The last time I had this the doctor gave me a patisserie.’

Janice Alder, practice manager, Harefield, west London

All the above will be sent a signed copy of Tony Copperfield’s new book, Sick Notes.

Happy GP