Tuesday, March 14, 2006


For the next two weeks I am being an educator. We host final year students in the practice and I am their tutor. So I shall be coming over all Socratic, answering questions with questions and the like. I shall also have less time for posting though so it's not all bad news for you folks out there ;-)

On the subject of education it was our latest student's first day with us yesterday, and she had the misfortune of sitting in with me on the duty surgery. We saw and 18 year old lass who had a "rash". Her mum had sent her up urgently because she "works with children" and "it might be catching". We both inspected the offending handful of spots intently. One was a bit bigger than the others and was yellow. The rest were little red dots in two patches over her shoulder and on the chest wall.

We pondered for what must have been seconds before arriving at a diagnosis. Acne. Not the worst case in the world, but fairly typical and quite ordinary teenage spots. In a teenager. Who was not otherwise ill.

We gave her a script for topical anitbiotic treatment to clear them more quickly and reassured her on the whole "working with children" thing, and she left relieved. Then it struck me. It's been over ten years since I last saw anyone with measles, almost as long for rubella and for mumps (not that mumps causes rashes I know).

So perhaps our encounter was not quite as daft as it first appeared.


greavsie said...


Didn't he play for Brazil?

Doctor Jest said...

That's the fella, along with Witgenstein, Kierkegaard and Bruce as I recall.