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anyone get confused for everything but a physician in the ED?!

Discussion in 'Emergency Medicine' started by Painter1, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. Painter1

    Painter1 Junior Member
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    i don't like wearing a white coat primarily because i don't feel as comfortable but unlike the other residents/attendings who also only wear scrubs, i get confused for a nurse or even nurse assistant ALL the time! i'm a dude, so that makes it even more confusing for me. i don't know what it is.
     
  2. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    I get confused for a doc all the time. Maybe it's because I'm 36, roguishly handsome, and walk with confidence... because I'm a damn fine ER tech.

    Maybe it's your bearing, posture, diction, or some other Dale Carnegie-style issue of personal presentation. Are you an attending? Resident? What year? How old are you? Does your program offer any training (official or unofficial) in stuff like how to walk into a room, how to project calm confidence and sympathetic authority, or do they just leave you to figure it out? Do you have any mentor-types who are never confused for anything else, whom you can emulate?

    Heck, maybe it's just that there isn't enough differentiation in the uniforms. Need more info to form a hypothesis, really.
     
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  3. roja

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    People in ER's are often not having thier best day. And there are all kinds of people running in and out, dressed in scrubs, dressed nicely and doing things to them and asking them questions. Its not surprising that they can't figure out who's who.

    Just politely introduce yourself or remind them you are thier doctor. Its not a challenge to your ego or anything.

    I do tend to dress professionally aka no scrubs and wear my ID visible as well, which helps.
     
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  4. Wackie

    Wackie Inappropriate, always
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    I was referred to as "the doctor's little girlfriend" once. :eek:

    As I was walking through the ER to grab a chart, a daughter of a patient already seen was bringing family back to the patient's room. She saw me and I heard her say, "Oh, there's the doctor's little girlfriend...lets ask..." and I got the "how much longer" question.

    I really have no idea why I was referred to as that except that I live in the south. :rolleyes:



    I've been mistaken as a doctor, once. Not by a patient but by social work. :D That makes any premed smile. :D
    "Are you Dr. S? What's going on in room 14?"
    I love that social worker. :D But I had to correct her. :(
     
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  5. GeneralVeers

    GeneralVeers Globus Hystericus
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    The patients always ask me when I graduated from high school, and if they can see a REAL doctor now.
     
  6. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    I usually get confused with security. I've even had psych patients tall me that it is illegal to give "undercover" security people a doctor's ID. Funny thing is, I've heard that three times by three different patients. Sometimes even having the ID visible doesn't help.

    - H
     
  7. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    I get that a lot. "You can't be the doctor. You look like a cop or a fireman." What they want me to do with that assessment I don't know. I do know that I refuse to spend any time begging them to believe that I'm the doc.
     
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  8. FoughtFyr

    FoughtFyr SDN Lifetime Donor
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    Yep, same here...

    And I am a fireman! (Which peds patients love!)

    - H
     
  9. igcgnerd

    igcgnerd Hawkeye
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    I get the opposite of u guys, i'm the er tech and i always get asked if im the doctor
     
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  10. MasterintuBater

    MasterintuBater Senior Member
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    I always got the same question as well..."Are you old enough to be out of high school". That's why I wear my beard scruffy now...I don't get that question as often. My stock answer used to be "Yeah, I'm still in high school....I'm on a half day work/learn program"
     
  11. GeneralVeers

    GeneralVeers Globus Hystericus
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    At MLK I used to tell them "the hospital is so desperate they are hiring doctors right out of high school". This was usually accompanied by worried looks from the patients/family.
     
  12. DrMom

    DrMom Official Mom of SDN
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    I get the age question a lot, too, which is quite funny since I'm a good chunk older than the other PGY1s. I usually just smile, thank them for making my day, and move along. If they'd look closely, they'd realize that I have a decent amount of gray hair mixed in with the brown. :laugh:
     
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  13. SoCuteMD

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    Awwww...all the kids I've ever babysat for would melt!!! :)
     
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  14. kungfufishing

    kungfufishing Senior Member
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    my colleagues are always asking if I'm actually a doctor. What does that mean?
     
  15. dlung

    dlung Postprelim intern oranges
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    When I was a med student in Ohio my awesome surgery resident from Cameroon was called a janitor more than once... embarrassing...
     
  16. Dr.McNinja

    Dr.McNinja Nobel War Prize Winner
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    I still act like a tech. It is really annoying to some nurses, and I don't know why.
     
  17. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    :laugh: Depends on which colleagues.
     
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  18. leviathan

    leviathan Drinking from the hydrant
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    I've been confused as a doctor by some patients, but also asked "SO when do you graduate from high school?" by others. Some people are just really bad with ages.
     
  19. vtucci

    vtucci Attending in Emergency Medicine
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    I have seen some ED docs have their names with MD engraved on scrubs.
     
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  20. doctawife

    doctawife Rocephin is for wimps
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    I get mistaken for all other levels - sometimes even after I introduce myself as Dr. M**y H8s at the start of every patient visit. And 'cause I'm not in the adult ER, I almost always have time to introduce myself before starting in on the medicine.

    I guess because I always introduce myself, the question I get the most (and usually after I've made the diagnosis and the dispo) is "How old are you?" When asked, the parents always say I must be 25 or under.

    Yeah, I'm thirty.

    Sunscreen and clean living is a good thing people.

    But I think that my patients will be a little more confident in me once I have some gray hairs. Oh well.
     
  21. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    Our group has these ugly, ugly olive-drab green scrubs for us to wear, but, really, we just need to make sure that we make it clear that we're the doctors. One day earlier this week, none of the docs in the three main areas had scrubs on - we all had street clothes and the white coat. Except for when I was new with the group, I've never worn the scrubs (because they're hideous), but always have on a pair of Dockers-type pants and a collared shirt.

    I've never been mistaken for anything but the doctor, but mine is to be mistaken for the attending when I was the intern or resident. I never get the "you're too young to be a doctor", but I do tell them that I'm older than I look. Got proofed again today for beer - the girl actually laughed when she saw how old I was.
     
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  22. spyderdoc

    Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Verified Account 15+ Year Member

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    When I do shifts in the fast track side, the doctor's desk is right up in front of the ED, so I am constantly being mistaken for the unit clerk, especially since I am in front of the computer doing my e-charting. When people come up asking when the doctor is going to see them...I usually just tell them that he is busy and will be in as soon as he can....:D
     
  23. VeerTheTIGuy

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    when I was doing an overnight shift in the ER this past summer, we called for a CCT transfer of a CHF patient. after the patient's nurse (new grad, and her mentor was on break) had finished giving the CCT nurse her report, the CCT nurse asked if the patient had been admitted to CHF before...while the nurse started flippind through the charts and trying to find out, i rolled over in my chair (having been looking through random x-rays on the computer) and told the CCT nurse that he had been, twice (i knew this because i was there when the doc took the history).

    10 minutes later the CCT nurse comes to me with the paperwork and asks me to sign...then i look to where she's pointing...under "Physician's Signature". I explain to her that I was just a first year and she was so surprised "because I answered her question with so much confidence":laugh:
     
  24. matt_mt19

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    So I get the age thing all the time. I'll be 23 when I start residency and I look 18... which really doesn't help too much. I bring this up because today in the ED I was caring for a 80+ y/o female who stated, "oh honey, you too damn young to take care of me, I got sh## all up in me older'n you :confused: :scared: ...go get me the real doctor - somebody who not still drivin with a permit."

    I just smiled -- and walked away..... she eventually warmed up to me :idea:

    PS -- This leads directly to the fecal disimpaction survey ?
     
  25. Jeff698

    Jeff698 EM/EMS nerd
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    Wow. That's a nice, new spin on the "underware older than you" line. Strong oratorical work to the constipated lady. :)

    Take care,
    Jeff
     
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  26. la gringa

    la gringa Senior Member
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    i'm almost 30 (eek!) and get mistaken for someone still in college on a regular basis... i get called nurse almost every day, despite the fact that i always introduce myself as doctor gringa, that i always wear my white coat, and that um, none of the nurses look anything like me (they're >90% indian/black/asian and i'm white as can be).
     
  27. docB

    docB Chronically painful
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    I had a patient years ago with chest pain. I called cards to admit and mentioned he had had a CABG. They were balking at the admit so I pointed out that his grafts were older than I was at the time. He had had his CABG in 1970. I feel anyone with replumbed vasculature older than the admitting doc gets a free pass.
     
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  28. wadoc

    wadoc Resident
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  29. kylek044

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    One hospital I was at (as a patient, that is) actually had little "MD" with a red-cross screen printed on the sleeve of Doctors' scrubs [some of them], surgical gowns, and white coats[all of them]. It was nice and discreet, but it let everyone know who was the boss. I just hate when, as a patient, people come in and pretend that they are much more then they are.
     
  30. DropkickMurphy

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    There have been a few times I have worn a shirt and tie under my lab coat while working as an RT (normally when I have to teach a class after my shift). Anecdotally I noticed that I tended to get the "Are you old enough to be working here?" question a lot less and was mistaken for a doc more when I dressed like that. One of my frequent fliers (a 102 y/o gentleman who is still sharp as a tack) goes "I guess if you are old enough to know how to tie a tie, you're old enough to work on me." :laugh:
     
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  31. DropkickMurphy

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    In some strange way, I'm looking forward to having gray hair. :laugh:
     
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  32. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    :eek:

    Dude, I was born in 1970.

    (And to McNinja: I think I'm always gonna act like a tech. All our seniors and attendings do.)
     
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  33. Jeff698

    Jeff698 EM/EMS nerd
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    :eek: :eek: I was born in 1967!

    Damn whipper-snapper CABG grafts!

    Take care,
    Jeff
     
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  34. Medical123

    Medical123 Senior Member
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    As a female, most of the patients call me 'the nurse' and when they find out that I am a med student, they try to hook me up with their sons and grandsons!
     
  35. Weeble

    Weeble Senior Member
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    That's funny. As a young, female MD my "most confused with" profession BY FAR is: waitress! :rolleyes:

    I understand that sometimes all a body wants is a little juice, but sometimes patients get huffy when I don't rush and get them a juice/food/dinner tray myself. Seriously, do they remember how long they waited to see me? And how much longer they and everybody else in the waiting room would wait if I added their dinner to my list of responsibilities? (which at a poor county hospital is pretty all-inclusive already...stocking pelvic speculums (speculi?) and Surgilube, photocopying the last form we've run out of, filling out CT reqs, faxing medical records reqs on the fax machine that never works etc, etc, etc)
     
  36. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    Speculums, or specula (it's gender is 'neuter' in Latin).
     
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  37. anonymousEM

    anonymousEM Senior Member
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    I'm young for an attending and look younger...when I was an intern an RN brought me crayons to write my orders one day...

    When pts say I'm too young to be thier DR I always say I hope that they still tell me that when I'm 50 (or 60 or 70??? Well, by then I hope I can only work on days I really really want to...)
     
  38. kylek044

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    Hahah! That was my first reaction when I saw that post, too!
     
  39. GeneralVeers

    GeneralVeers Globus Hystericus
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    That's great! I say for one week, all of us write our orders in crayon. We should also drink coffee out of a sippy cup...
     
  40. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    Well, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree, as those coffee cups are EXACTLY that and nothing more.
     
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  41. Febrifuge

    Febrifuge Grizzled Old Newcomer
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    This is a little diversion for the thread, but if it's gender-neutral, wouldn't it be speculae? "Specula" sounds female to me...
     
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  42. kylek044

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    No! if it were feminine it would be "specula(sing), speculae(plur)" in nomnitive case
    neuters are "speculum (sing), specula (plur)" in nomnitive
     
  43. Apollyon

    Apollyon Screw the GST
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    It's not "gender-neutral" - what I meant was in Latin, the gender is "neuter" - there is "masculine", "feminine", and "neuter" (with little relevance to the actual word). The nominative (as in subject - there are 5 cases in Latin) of a neuter word ends in "-um", and the plural is "-a" (as Kyle pointed out). The "-a, -ae" is feminine singular and plural.

    Fossa, fossae. Foramen magnus, foramina magni. Cingulum, cingula.
     
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  44. Dr.McNinja

    Dr.McNinja Nobel War Prize Winner
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    Think alumna (one woman), alumnae (two women), alumnus (one man), alumni (any combination of men, or men and women).

    However, hippopotamus is not Latin, so the plural is hippos. Same with octopus. Man, I hate having taken latin now.
     
  45. jmrck

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    I love how making a latin grammar mistake on these posts tends to divert the argument to a latin class (LOL) :laugh: :laugh: carpe diem
     
  46. jmrck

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    Amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant..... aaawww you guys are bringing it all back, the declention of the nouns and the conjugation of the verbs. I might not be able to stop myslef :eek: :eek: :laugh: :laugh:
     

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