So I’m in the exam room recently with a new patient. After some initial dialog with the child and family, I launched into the business of problem solving. Ten minutes into my history the mother politely asks: “I’m sorry, and you are?…”
I hadn’t introduced myself. I had left my ID badge at my workstation, and by order of some innocent distraction with the child or family, I hadn’t identified myself immediately on entering the room. This is rare.
Sometimes I assume people will know who I am. But I don’t wear a white coat and my stethoscope is concealed. I wear clothes only good enough to sustain the barrage of regurgitation, urine, full-frontal coughs, and sloppy hugs that mark a successful clinic day. A colleague once told me I dress like an algebra teacher. I haven’t quite processed that one, but suffice it to say it’s easy to fall into a mistaken identity.
So I apologized and made a proper introduction. What’s remarkable is how far I went without the mother having any idea about my identity. I can imagine that it took a certain amount of wherewithal to interrupt the person she suspected was the doctor to ask such a basic question. Read more »
*This blog post was originally published at 33 Charts*