I love my patients. And I love surprises. Most patients fear unexpected medical events, but medical surprises don’t always have to be bad news.
I’m a neighborhood family doc. My patients are friends. They celebrate my milestones and I celebrate theirs. A few like to surprise me for my birthday. So when Rachel scheduled her physical a few days before her birthday, I didn’t miss the opportunity.
I called her friends and family (most are patients) and told them to arrive with gifts by 3:30 and hide in the exam room. At 4:00 pm Rachel sat unsuspecting in the waiting room. I brought her back for the usual pre-physical interval history and girlfriend chat (yes, I DO need to know everyone she’s been dating in the last year!). Before she revealed all her romantic escapades, I guided her back to the exam room where everyone jumped up from behind the exam table, screamed, blew bubbles and party horns, and basically scared the crap out of her!
And if you still don’t believe it’s possible for a doctor to throw a surprise birthday during a physical exam -> WATCH THIS!
So did she allow all of us in on her physical? Nope. She cut her appointment short and asked us to take her out for drinks.
Just another day in the life of a family doctor.
Pamela Wible, M.D., is a family physician in Oregon. She pioneered the first medical clinic designed by patients. Watch her TEDx talk “How to get naked with your doctor.” Photos and video by GeVe.