Diagnosis of the Day

Chartomegaly

Big chart, big problems. Small chart, small problems.

Hang on, better get the forklift for this one.

It seems a good portion of the patient population my current attending sees suffer from this particular malady. The best way I can think to describe this practice is, it’s where neurology patients come for all of their acute care/internal medicine needs. If you know what I mean.

A few of my favorites from the past few weeks include: the Original Crazy Cat Person covered in a thin layer of cat hair and eau de cat pee who was more interested in discussing Fluffy’s recent colonoscopy results than their own problems, the patient who apparently forgoes outwear in favor of wearing every (?) shirt they own and clothes pins rather than belts, and the retired Hollywood body double for a notable Hollywood persona of the mid-70’s (if you knew where I lived, in literally, the wilds of Middle of America, the strangeness of this person’s random appearance in this particular clinic would probably be more apparent), and the multitudes of patients with some of the most fulminant cases of chartomegaly I have encountered in 12+ years in medicine.

When I say ‘favorites,’ I really mean it. I am having a ball on this rotation, half the time I’m spending so much time just talking to these fascinating people about their fascinating life stuff, I forget to talk to them about their medical problems until my attending politely intervenes.

People are infinitely unique and interesting. This is one of the reasons I got started in medicine, why I continue, and why I love working in medicine so much. Every day on this rotation reminds me of this. I only have a few short weeks left, but in the meantime, bring your giant charts people, and let your crazy flags fly. I think you are amazing, and I’m listening.

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