THINGS MY PATIENTS BELIEVE

Some of these are slightly tongue-in-cheek but I've endeavoured to be respectful. These are all things I have been told on numerous occasions by patients or their families.
  1. They believe in vaccinating their kids.
    Such a blessing that anti-vaxxers are still relatively rare in South Africa, and it's mostly the super-wealthy who lean in that direction.
  2. They believe that gripe water is good for their babies.
    And it really isn't! We have at least one admission a week of a child who has hypernatraemic convulsions from consuming an excess of gripe water.
  3. They believe that doctors work normal hours
    Not sure who they think staffs the casualty because they are always so surprised upon hearing the length of our shifts.
  4. They believe we advise against herbal remedies because we disregard their culture.
    In fact it's not the herbs we have a problem with, but the fact that so many traditional healers in our area mix their herbs with toxic substances.
  5. They believe that nurses are the only ones on their sides.
    Can't entirely blame them for this. It also makes nurses our closest ally.
  6. They believe that dressing their kids in multiple layers displays their love, even in summer.
    Part of the reason so many of the kids struggle with unremitting eczema.
  7. They believe IUDs and implantable contraceptives are bad - and possibly demonic.
    This varies depending on their religious affiliation but is fairly common.
  8. They believe in combined decision-making.
    If you want consent for a surgical procedure you best be willing to wait for the whole family to get there. It is not to say that a person will change their mind based on the family, but they believe in discussing it first.
  9. They believe I'm too young to be their doctor.
    Le sigh.
  10. Kid-patients believe that I'll stick them with needles if they're naughty 🙄
    Seriously, WHY do parents tell their kids this?! Are kids not scared enough of going to the doctor??? And it's not fair. Because now if the kid does need a jab they think they were bad, meanwhile it was just medically indicated. Parents, I am not your disciplinary threat!