I actually have a whole load of urgent homework that I’m currently not doing. But I’m not writing about that.
If a patient asks me something and I don’t know the answer, I admit it. If it’s appropriate, I’ll look up the answer while they’re with me, or while they’re waiting for Part Two of their consultation – the part with the real doctor. If I don’t get the chance, and it’s important, I’ll just ask the doc when I’m handing over.
If it’s more of a point of interest and knowing the answer only matters to me, or if the patient is happy to wait for obscure info, I’ll look it up later. On that list: Effects of chromium supplementation, fructose intolerance, sugar content of soy milk.
Not going on that homework list, not getting looked up while he’s in the waiting room, and most certainly not during our consult: (and I’m paraphrasing here for the sake of already having enough dodgy words inviting creepy google-stalkers) is today’s special offering. “My junk has shrunk… Is that a normal part of getting old?”
I don’t know.
Apparently he’s discussed his concerns with the doctor before, and my ignorance was reassuring. “So if you don’t know, maybe he didn’t know either, because he didn’t seem to want to look into it…”
Maybe I should have taken baseline measurements so we could track the alleged shrinkage over time. Something about the fact his eyes had trouble elevating above my chest level gave me the feeling such a scientific approach would be rendered inaccurate by an excessive degree of operator dependance.
Some things, I’d just rather not know.