In a single night I had patients come in for the following complaints (all brought by ambulance): “Smoked marijuana and got dizzy”, “stung by a bee and it hurts”, “got drunk and have a hangover”, “sat out in the sun and got sunburn”, “ate Mexican food and threw up”, “picked my nose and it bled, but now it stopped”, “just had sex and want to know if I’m pregnant.”
That’s an excerpt from Thomas Doyle’s blogpost “Treating a Nation of Wimps“. Some may venture to suggest that the problem is not constrained to North American shores…
Doyle is an ER doctor and the author of an interestingly titled upcoming book, “Suck It Up, America: The Tough Choices Needed for Real Health-Care Reform”. He laments the current epidemic of hypochondriasis, the universal expectation of ‘a pill to cure every ill’ and how modern society has warped our perceptions of risk. Read the rest of the blogpost for more words of wisdom like:
When working with a cold, flu or headache, I often feel I am like one of those cute little animal signs in amusement parks that say “you must be taller than me to ride this ride” only my sign would read “you must be sicker than me to come to our emergency department.”
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of two amazing children.