Any time that I discuss patients on this blog, I randomly change around the gender, the age, the complaints, and any names involved – both to protect the patients’ privacy and to comply with privacy laws. As I have stated in my “About” link:
“If you think there is any similarity between you and a patient I write about, it isn’t you. I may or may not change the age, sex, injuries, or complaints of the patients I write about. The 70 year old grandma with a hip fracture may really be a 16 year old star high school football player who skinned his knee. I may change some of the things that patients say or do for entertainment value. I repeat: It isn’t you.”
One of the patients I have written about in the past came back to the ED for a different issue the other day. The previous post was a funny scenario and I made up names for each of the other people involved.
The last visit, the patient was alone. This time his family was with him. When I walk in the room, I usually introduce myself to everyone and shake everyone’s hand. When I got to the patient’s father, he introduced himself and told me his name. His name just happened to be the same one that I created out of thin air for the previous post.
I happened to remember the patient and the name I made up for his dad. I did a double take and must have given the dad a strange look when he told me his name, because he then gave me a funny look and tilted his head.
“Sorry, you look just like someone else I know with that same name. You don’t have a twin, do you?”
“No, but if I did, he probably wouldn’t have my name …”
Another reason why from this point forward, all patients will hereby be named Joanne Doroshow.