Deaf wifeBMJ 1999; 318 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7186.798 (Published 20 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:798
Years ago in my consulting room I was seeing an old patient for his regular six monthly review, and was pleased when my receptionist sent in his wife as I had never met any of his relatives. During the usual questioning I addressed odd remarks and questions to her which elicited no response. In his notes I then wrote “deaf wife.” After a physical examination, an electrocardiogram, and an x ray examination I bade him goodbye and noted that the wife remained seated. I inquired if she was not going to accompany her husband? She then spoke up to say, “I am not his wife, but your next patient. I was fascinated to see the whole procedure, but have one complaint. Next time could you provide a better male specimen, someone like Paul Newman?”
We welcome articles up to 600 words on topics such as A memorable patient, A paper that changed my practice, My most unfortunate mistake, or any other piece conveying instruction, pathos, or humour. If possible the article should be supplied on a disk. Permission is needed from the patient or a relative if an identifiable patient is referred to. We also welcome contributions for “Endpieces,” consisting of quotations of up to 80 words (but most are considerably shorter) from any source, ancient or modern, which have appealed to the reader.