French lessonsBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7479.1393 (Published 09 December 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1393
- Peter Turkie, locum general practitioner
- Perpignan, France
“Aren't you going to give me something for my nose?”
It was the end of a busy weekend on call; I was hungry and tired, and this was not what I wanted to hear. I had been called out to see a man with a cough, which I had diagnosed as asthma due to a cold. He had all sorts of treatments at home for asthma, which I encouraged him to take regularly. The attack was not severe, and he was quite well apart from the slight cough and a runny nose. I prepared to leave, not before collecting my €42.60 (£29.89; $56.56) cheque and giving him his form for reimbursement.
“And my cough?” he asked. I explained again, as patiently as I could given my weakened state, that treating the asthma would stop the cough and that symptomatic treatment was …