You don’t have to be doing this parenting gig for long before you realize just how easy it is to stump the doc. I guess that’s why it’s called, “practicing medicine.” Because sometimes, they just don’t know. BUT, I am pretty sure there is a day in some class that all doctors take where they learn how to play the medical equivalent of poker.
“Okay class,” the wise looking medical professor intones while looking out at the waiting medical students. “There are going to be times when your patients come in with valid concerns, and you will just have no idea.”
The class stirs uncomfortably in the predominately right-handed desks.
“Oh, you’ll be able to narrow it down to a short list of suspects, but in truth, there are times when we just don’t know what the actual malady is. The important thing though students, is that you never let on that we doctors are periodically stumped.
So, you must repeat after me: colic and contact dermatitis.”
The class, as a whole, murmurs these two magical words, sensing that their entire medical careers have just hung in some balance.
“Now, remember, when in doubt, a crying baby has colic and an unexplained rash is contact dermatitis.
“But, Professor, what if it isn’t colic or contact dermatitis? What if that is a mis-diagnosis?”
“Then they will come back with more symptoms and you can finally figure out what the heck is wrong.”
So, my mysterious rash that always shows up when I’m running a fever is back. Just like clockwork. And I don’t even bother to worry about it. Because if I were to call my doctor, the answer would be the same as always: “hmm, sounds like contact dermatitis. Call me back if it doesn’t go away in a few days.”
Gotta love it when you’re a medical mystery, or the winner in today’s “Let’s Stump the Doc” game.