Forceful patient requests for antibiotics in an obvious viral URI are some of the most difficult conversations for any doctor to handle.
- On one side - the patient is miserable
- On the other side - the diagnosis is simple and quick and the treatment is crystal clear
Yet, in many cases, we physicians can be persuaded to prescribe against our better judgement.
- Where does this common patient-doctor conflict originate?
- Who can shed light on the awesome persuasive power supplied to our patients by a simple rhinovirus?
I nominate Ogden Nash.
Read his poem below and remember your last doozy of a head cold. I nominate these sentiments, rarely spoken in the course of your office visit, as the source of the arm twisting power of your sniffling, suffering patient's argument for antibiotics.
This is Blog Post #311
Complete Blog Library is Here
by Ogden Nash
Go hang yourself, you old M.D.!
You shall not sneer at me.
Pick up your hat and stethoscope,
Go wash your mouth with laundry soap;
I contemplate a joy exquisite
I'm not paying you for your visit.
I did not call you to be told
My malady is a common cold.
By pounding brow and swollen lip;
By fever's hot and scaly grip;
By those two red redundant eyes
That weep like woeful April skies;
By racking snuffle, snort, and sniff;
By handkerchief after handkerchief;
This cold you wave away as naught
Is the damnedest cold man ever caught!
Give ear, you scientific fossil!
Here is the genuine Cold Colossal;
The Cold of which researchers dream,
The Perfect Cold, the Cold Supreme.
This honored system humbly holds
The Super-cold to end all colds;
The Cold Crusading for Democracy;
The Führer of the Streptococcracy.
Bacilli swarm within my portals
Such as were ne'er conceived by mortals,
But bred by scientists wise and hoary
In some Olympic laboratory;
Bacteria as large as mice,
With feet of fire and heads of ice
Who never interrupt for slumber
Their stamping elephantine rumba.
A common cold, gadzooks, forsooth!
Ah, yes. And Lincoln was jostled by Booth;
Don Juan was a budding gallant,
And Shakespeare's plays show signs of talent;
The Arctic winter is fairly coolish,
And your diagnosis is fairly foolish.
Oh what a derision history holds
For the man who belittled the Cold of Colds!
PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT
- How does this first person diatribe help you understand talking to patients about conservative treatment of the "common" cold?
- What is one of your favorite "medical poems"?
- What is your favorite Ogden Nash poem?