Doctors of Reddit were asked: "What's the most awkward experience you've had with a patient during a regular checkup?" These are some best answers.
1/20 ER doctor, so nothing is really a regular check-up, but... I was interviewing a fairly attractive young lady about a pelvic complaint, and she answers all of my questions quite comfortably with some guy in the room. I hand her a gown so she can change for the pelvic exam, and she says "Can you ask this guy to leave first? He just followed me in here from triage." Last time I neglected to establish the relationship of all the people in the room.
2/20 I'm not a doctor, but an ophthalmic assistant. Part of my job is poking people in the eye with a tiny ultrasound "pen" (tonometer) to test eye pressures. It's not too uncommon for people to faint during this test, because they hold their breath or just get freaked out from sitting still having their eyes poked.
I was administering this test to a young man, around 18 years old, while his father was in the room (dad was going to pay for laser eye surgery and was curious). Well, the kid fainted, right into my breasts, which were huge because I was three months pregnant. I normally would catch a patient and assist accordingly, but this kid just fell forward into my boobs, so I dropped my tono-pen and put my hands on his shoulders to push him back into the chair. Then he moaned, then kind of rolled his head side to side, with his face disappearing into my lab coat. All the while his dad in the room, staring, stunned and wide eyed.
After the kid recovered (his dad finally stood up and helped me get his head between his knees) he was a little disoriented and glazed. He looked at his dad, who said "Thatta boy." I nearly fainted from embarrassment.
3/20 I had a woman come in complaining of pelvic pain. Her boyfriend accompanied her and suddenly became nervous and uncomfortable when I asked when the pain developed. She said it started about a week before when she was having sex with her boyfriend. Ok. Time for the pelvic exam so the boyfriend bolts out.
Patient had a vulvar hematoma. Maybe don't google image search that if you're queasy, but it's trauma typically seen with bicycle accidents when a patient hits the seat. Hard. The awkwardness when the boyfriend was told to take it easy from now on...
4/20 Back when I first started cleaning teeth a few years ago, I had a client who came in to get her teeth cleaned. She was the sweetest little old lady with tons of energy and was full of life. I got her comfortably seated in the chair, leaned her back, and started scaling away (dental term for removing plaque/tartar or "bringing the pain"). Half way through the appt, my stomach starts to grumble. She pokes fun at me for it and we both have a laugh. Minutes later, the grumblies in my stomach make their way down to my butt and it takes everything I have not to fart with this sweet lady's head between my legs. It's no use. I figure that if its going to force its way out, I might as well make it a silent one.
I straighten up my posture and lean ever so slightly towards my tray of instruments to "swap for a new one". I must have miscalculated or something because what was supposed to be a silent fart, turned out to be one of those toots that sounds like Mario jumping from the original Super Mario Bros. The Granny looked at me with a look that was one part bewilderment, another part amusement, and the last I'm not even sure (maybe pitty?). All she said was "There you go, Dear! Now I don't feel so bad for letting a few go myself out in the waiting room!" Needless to say, she has always been my favourite client to this day.
5/20 I was working OB as an off-service resident. Went in to examine the patient who was in labour but had just arrived. She was morbidly obese and had an extremely large panus (fat fold) that had to be lifted up to check for cervical dilatation. Upon lifting the fold there was this horrendous smell and a large quantity of black material. It didn't really look like necrotic tissue, so I grabbed a bottle of saline and start wiping away at the area. The patient suddenly looks down and screams out to her husband to come over because "He found it".
Turns out they play a game at home where they would hide chocolate ho-ho's in the fat folds on their body. This one just happened to go missing for 3 days prior to coming to the hospital in labour.
6/20 Regular check up with a patient I've seen at least three times prior. Normal conversation at this point. Then he starts talking about gangs that have been coming by his house. Reaches into his bag to pull out the things left behind by the gangs. Takes out crumbled pieces of drywall, specks of paper, a child's eraser. Goes on about the things the 'gangs' have been doing in his house. Very graphic depictions of physical and sexual assaults by gangsters that are varied in color (green, blue, orange-not race). Starts having visual hallucinations in the office of a big red gangster that had been following him. Pulls a gun, starts waving it wildly at the 'red gangster.' I stop breathing. He puts the gun away, I write a send an electronic message to my nurse, 'Get security. Gun in bag.' Meanwhile I keep him talking about something benign, grand kids blah blah. Knock at door and three cops tackle him.
After a week admission to psych he was better, medicated, and didn't really remember the situation. No charges or anything. I'm just happy he was treated and is better. Psychotic breaks happen all the time. The most important part is supporting the person because they're probably absolutely terrified.
7/20 ER doctor here as well, but I was early in my training and had a chart in the rack with a chief complaint of psychiatric evaluation. As soon as I picked it up, some of the older nurses in the department started giggling. I had no idea why, until I opened up the curtain to the room. In front of me was a relatively normal looking 20's something year old female. As soon as I started asking her basic questions, that she was providing very bizarre answers to, she took her hand and reached under the blanket and her gown towards her back, and came up with a large handful of feces. Then proceeded to go straight to her mouth with it. It caught me so off guard, I actually started laughing and walked directly out of the room and called the on-call psychiatrist. The nurses outside had been laughing because this wasn't the first time she had been in for similar behavior. Oh the joys of being an intern.
8/20 ER Nurse here. I've got tons of these stories. One day this little old hermit lady who never leaves her house comes in. Her chief complaint is: "I've got the greens." I have no idea what that means so as I'm interviewing her I find out more. Turns out she has a problem with uterine prolapse. That happens a lot with older woman who've had a bunch of kids - their uterus literally sags part way out of their vagina. Apparently she got tired of her saggy uterus so she stuck a potato, a Yukon Gold to be specific, up her vagina to hold her uterus in. She forgot it was there and well, potatoes like to sprout in dark, moist environments. So she pulls down her pants and literally has shrubbery growing out of her vag. The doctor had to go in after that thing to get it out and I'll tell you, I've never smelled something so horrible in my life.
9/20 Covering in ER my intern year. Walk into a room that had a young adult male who has an infected finger. He is sitting on the gurney naked masturbating. I said "That's not okay! Get dressed I'll be back in a few minutes." He mumbled and I left.
I came back and he was dressed. Within a few seconds of interviewing him I realize he is mild-moderately mentally retarded. Fix his finger up, give him antibiotics and send him on his way. Another day in medicine......
10/20 A couple came in, the woman was complaining of stomach pain. She was very obese. Routine examination, doctor informs her that she is pregnant and she is almost ready to have the baby.
Woman, in disbelief, says "UH UH. NAW. No way. He been takin' them pills every day."
11/20 Obviously not a doctor, but a long time nurse in the urology department. So it's the first Christmas day, and I'm on duty in our small "emergency room". So far it has been the usual holiday stuff, young women with urinary tract infections, kidney stones, some infected catheters, nothing serious really. I get beeped by the main ER, and the admitting nurse tells me that there is a young man with an "urological problem" he doesn't want to disclose any further to her. At this point I know.
I go to the exam room and in waddles an awkward young man in his 30s. I go through all the bureaucratic stuff, take his vitals and then ask him for an urine sample. He blushes and says he can't. I'm getting curious and inquire on the nature of his problem. He blushes even more (He's looking like a tomato at this moment) and drops his pants. Turns out he and his friend have been drinking the night before and had a bet who could put more rings on his penis. Im not talking about cock rings but solid steel rings to hold napkins!
He won the bet, and now had seven of those wedged around his penis, which had swollen beyond recognition. I got a little uncomfortable as it was looking really painful, called the doctor on duty and told her on the phone to brace herself for an unique experience. She arrives, and we get to work. First we drained his bladder, which was filled with more than 1 litre of urine, with a suprapubic catheter. Once this was done we tried to remove the rings... We tried everything: we iced his penis to reduce the swelling, we tried lube, manual compression, nothing worked, the rings stayed in place. The doctor called the chief resident on duty, and he suggested to ask the dentist department to help us. So we called the dentist, he first thought this was a prank, and went to his exam room with our patient on a stretcher.
The dentist managed to remove the rings by drilling through them under constant cooling of the patients penis, it took nearly 2 hours to accomplish. The patient fully recovered after a few days of antibiotics and cooling. The rings are on display in a show case in a "staff only" area in our clinic, along with other things we have removed from patients bodies after "autoerotic accidents", we like to call them.
12/20 OB-GYN Here. Attractive blonde international flight attendant, regular patient, calls for an emergency appointment. She sheepishly tells me she's very concerned that she keeps finding Costa Rican postage stamps in her vagina. I've been doing this job for 24 years and had never heard of such a thing. After a full examination she was relieved to learn they were just the stickers from the bananas.
13/20 I was working on the L&D floor in a rural hospital in Georgia as a 4th year medical student and making my rounds. Late in the morning I was checking on a morbidly obese female who gave birth 12 hours prior. She had a c-section and I noticed that she had a dollar bill tattoo near the surgical incision under her waist line. I was in the surgery and i was comfortable asking her what the significance was- she responded with "All you can eat under a buck"....
14/20 Gave a girl a pelvic exam at a free clinic. She was my waitress the next evening. She was my age, which made it even a little more awkward, somehow. Did you ever see that episode of Fawlty Towers where Basil is serving some Germans and doesn't want to mention WWII? I felt like that the whole evening, like at some point I was just going to say, "I'll have the steak tartare and a side of vagina I MEAN FRENCH FRIES."
15/20 When I was an army medic I assisted the surgeon in general surgery, we were doing a circumcision on a 38 Y/O SFC (Sargent First Class) with constant UTI issues. As the patient was being prepped the surgeon grabbed the guys penis and says "Wow that's pretty nice, is it hand grown?" It took all of us 5 minutes to catch our breath!
16/20 I had to remove a plastic soda bottle off a guys dick that got stuck while fapping in it. (Yes, apparently it's a thing). After using ring cutters without success, I was able to pry the top off with pliers. Unfortunately, I was standing right in the like of fire and got pissed on (that's what I'm telling myself). I yelled, "mother fucker!" And the guy just laughed and said, "I guess I won't be doing that again".
17/20 I was once checking stitches on a patients leg who was wearing a skirt and going commando. She sneezed and peed on me. I stood up and in an effort to alleviate the tension she gave an awkward grin and said softly, "I guess I did have to go...". I left without a word and got cleaned up before telling her doctor she was ready for her.
18/20 I remember this one patient.. She was in labour and I had to check her cervical dilation.. Now the way that's done is by doing a digital vaginal exam and estimating the gap with the index and middle fingers in a V shape. Most of the time this is pretty routine and TBH the patient is usually too distressed by the contractions to care.. This one last however seemed to respond to my examination in a totally unexpected way.. She went from "argh ouch" to "Ooh Mhmm"... Needless to say it took me all I had to keep a straight face..
19/20 I work on the switchboard at a major hospital and I had a lady call up saying she had spinal fluid coming out of her nose.
20/20 While working in the ED, a very attractive female in her mid twenties came in her boyfriend complaining of abdominal pain. Part of the work up requires a pelvic exam and bimanual exam (girl in stirrups, 2 fingers in as deep as possible to feel the cervix). I offered to have a female perform the exam but she said it was ok if I did. A chaperone was present but her boyfriend demanded to watch as well. He stood across the foot of the bed from me and started me in the eyes with a scowl the entire time my hand was deep inside his girlfriend. Made for a very uncomfortable situation for all. After the exam he pulled me aside and told me he thought she was in pain because he "fucked her harder than ever the night before". I have no idea why he felt the need to say that but I assume it was because he was trying to prove something