Ah, here it comes. Always an interesting one, the “past medical history.” I brace myself for the inevitable nonsense and switch on my best “I know exactly what you're talking about” face. Blood pressure? Yes, he had some blood pressure four years ago. A prostate too. And last year, he had a CIA. Wait, there's one more … Difersic … Diverting … Divisiculit … I nod, cutting him off mid?stammer, and smile as I think “dysphasia.” My pen swaggers across the page.
All around the building, patients are struggling, medics nodding, and pens swaggering. But do we correct them so that they are not left in ignorance of the very name of their disease? Often, no. Our explanations are often dumbed down so much that they're actually wrong. But worst of all, we do not try to bridge the gap between medic and lay person because we love that gap.