When I started my rotations in third year, it was on a regular basis that I said or wrote something that was… well… embarrassing. Perhaps it was simply inaccurate. Or maybe it wasn’t the correct way to word whatever it was I was trying to communicate. My initial reaction was to try and hide my inadequacies by not speaking up. I didn’t want to expose myself. But I quickly learned that the vast majority of doctors and residents I worked with didn’t care if I made a mistake as long as I tried and was willing to learn. What would make them upset was a lack of effort on my part. In fact, physicians liked me more and trusted me more if I was willing to be vocal with my thoughts and ideas, no matter how off they were. Doing so let them know where I was at in terms of my understanding. It also gave them a chance to teach me, which is the whole purpose of medical school.
I also learned that I wasn’t alone in making myself look like a fool. My classmates were in the same boat as me and made mistakes as well. And our mistakes were often quite funny. It’s healthy to laugh at ourselves, individually and collectively. And with that in mind, here is a list of comical things that have been written in patient charts over the years.