Six places to avoid patients in the wild

3 minute read

Running into patients in their natural habitat is never comfortable, but some encounters suck more.

We’ve all bumped into patients outside of work, but whatever you do don’t bump into them here:

The bargain-basement liquor store

You’ve piled your shopping trolley sky-high with cheap vodka and you’re just about to make your way to the till when you come face to face with a patient.

You hurriedly invent an excuse: “Err … my extended family members are coming over for Christmas and one of my cousins … Geoff … yes Geoff … is an alcoholic.”

In reality it’s just going to be you smashing it back on your lonesome. Your gamma-GT’s probably as sky-high as your trolley. 

Sex shop

So you’ve finally decided to gather up the courage and visit a sex shop. Not your local one though, that would be silly. You wouldn’t want to bump into one of your neighbours.

After a lot of awkward browsing you decide to purchase the Clit-Plucker 9000 only to realise that the friendly member of staff behind the counter is one of your patients. You also seem to recall that you see her approximately every three months for recurrent herpes.

When you get home you put your Clit-Plucker 9000 in the dishwasher just to be on the safe side.


Let’s be honest, Bunnings isn’t your natural habitat. You have no idea what half the stuff is and you can’t bring yourself to ask anyone either.

While browsing heavy-duty brackets a patient comes along and excitedly tells you how they managed to decompress their Bessemer convertor with a Caprotti valve gear. You nod sagely, having no idea what they’re talking about.

Oh well at least you know what it’s like to be a patient now!

The chemist

“Fancy seeing you here doc, I didn’t think doctors got ill!”

Your patient clearly doesn’t think you’re a human being. After 10 painful minutes of queuing the pharmacist shouts: “I’ve got your famciclovir here, love. Do you want me to put it in your basket for you?”

On reflection, maybe you should have run the dishwasher through twice.

At home

Visiting your patient at home only confirms how weird they are. Not only do they have a collection of cuckoo clocks, but they also have a pet tarantula called Monsieur Hairy-legs, whose glittering emerald eyes can sense your quivering fear a mile away.

Whatever you do don’t use the toilet, don’t touch the tarantula and don’t accept one of their chocolate muffins.

In the middle of an empty field

This is probably the worst place you’re ever likely to bump into a patient. You can’t pretend you haven’t seen them and you can’t cross the road to get away from them either. It’s just you, the patient and an empty, heartless field which mocks you with its solitude.

To be honest meeting them in a field is no different from seeing them in the consulting room, so just get on with it and ask her how her herpes is doing.

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