While visiting the beautiful city of Cancun, Mexico, I experienced a rather interesting yet unfortunate incident while waiting for the elevator lobby to take me back up to my room. A middle-aged female arrived in the lobby and subsequently passed out. She had been drinking one too many margaritas and bathing in the hot Mexican summer sun without proper hydration. Immediately, several of the kind American tourist bystanders ran to her rescue. She fortunately did not experience any head trauma during her fall, and lost consciousness for less than five seconds.
A brave gentleman with good intentions started to take charge. As I headed towards the patient, before I was even able to introduce myself, this gentleman took one brief look at me and decided that I cannot possibly have any useful function at this scene, and ordered “You! Go get some towels and a bucket of water.”
Ok, so perhaps I appear as though I could still pass for a freshman in college (and I hope it stays that way). But looks can be very deceiving.
Today, I came across this joke published on my “Doctors” desk calendar which reminded me of this rather humorous incident in Mexico and gave me a chuckle or two:
After an accident, a woman stepped forward and prepared to help the victim. She was asked to step aside by a man who announced, “Step back please! I’ve had a course in first aid and I’m trained in CPR.”It's good to know that I am not the only doctor with a similar experience.
The woman watched his procedures for a few moments then tapped him on the shoulder, “When you get to the part about calling a doctor,” she said, “I’m already here.”
Later, I found out that this kind gentleman I ran into that day had no medical training. He was just trying to be a Good Samaritan. There really are some very kind souls in this world, I have to give him that.
However, it reminded me of an important medical career lesson: never make any assumptions about a patient’s background, age, nationality, sexuality, education, career, or relationships to other members who accompany them to their visits. And this advice should really extend to all life encounters, in general. Yes, even in regards to your personal physicians.
Looks can be very deceiving…