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23 Things Patients Do That Drive Doctors Crazy

Want to annoy your physician? Bring them some poop in a leaky carrier bag.

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1. Show up with an epic list of ailments.

Columbia Records / Giphy

Most general practice appointment slots are just 10 minutes long, which makes it hard to discuss 20 health issues. So please don't save them up for weeks.

2. Decide you know more about medicine than we do.

"Doctor, I checked WebMD and I've got Hirschsprung-Yinglebork disease!" No, you don't. You have constipation and you need to accept that you just need some Senokot, a packet of figs, and a poo. Stop freaking out, it'll be OK.

3. Don't have a wash before your appointment.

Flickr: aukirk / Creative Commons

We might be doctors, but we have a sense of smell and a gag reflex. So do us a favour and wash your feet before asking us to check your ingrown toenail.


5. Lie about your symptoms.

FOX / Giphy

When patients are convinced they've got a fictional, self-diagnosed illness, they often want to see a specialist – so they lie and claim they have symptoms that they don't have. It's frustrating and unfair to people who are genuinely unwell.


9. Show up late for an appointment.

Universal Pictures

Especially if you say something to justify it, like: "Well you lot are always running late and I didn't want to wait around for ages." That's...not how it works.

10. Or don't bother showing up at all.

Instagram: @tink_x3

All it takes is a quick call to let us know you're not coming. If you do that, we can offer the appointment to someone else and cut those waiting times.

11. Be rude or aggressive to our reception staff.

CBS / Giphy

If they ask you questions, it's because we – your doctors – need to know the answers. If you verbally abuse them, we might end up refusing to see you.


14. Demand a sick note for a fake illness.

Instagram: @meanmug713

It's a shame that your employer doesn't believe that you were off sick with a "tummy bug" the day after you were drunkenly dancing on tables 'til 3am at the Christmas party, but we can't make stuff up or lie for you. Sorry.

15. Fail to finish courses of medication, or completely ignore the instructions.

Not finishing courses of antibiotics is a leading cause of resistance. It's also frustrating when you come back two weeks later and say you're "still sick".


18. Mess about with our stuff.

Instagram: @mrjdscott

These items have often been sterilised, and if you touch or tamper with them we'll have to sterilise them again. And that's if we even realise you've done it.

19. Harass us when you see us in the supermarket, or when we're on the school run.

Channel 4 / Giphy

Sorry, but we don't want to give you medical advice when we're shopping for baked beans or dealing with a screaming child. Please make an appointment.

20. Convince yourself you have a rare disease based on scaremongering news stories.

Twitter: @teejaytwoface

We know it's hard to avoid these kinds of stories, but try to be rational. Before demanding to be seen in an "emergency" because you think you have an Ebola/Zika hybrid, double check your symptoms. Ninety-nine per cent of the time, it's just a cold.


21. Refuse to give your children or teenagers privacy.

Fox Searchlight / Giphy

If your kid asks to speak to us alone, don't say: "Anything you can say in front of the doctor, you can say in front of me." That's just not true. Give them space.

23. And, worst of all, fail to come and see us.

We love our jobs and want to help people. We always want to see you if you're genuinely worried about something; you're not wasting our time.

But please, please stop bringing us carrier bags full of poo. Thank you.