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Dealing with a metrosexual patient

A metrosexual patient can be defined as one who talks, walks, laughs, coughs, wheezes and sneezes like an American. He has set foot in the dreamland — America (never mind, if it was only to sit in the bench between breakfast and lunch and catch the next return flight).

Need proof of his American-ness? Well! He comes to your clinic clad in shorts and addresses you, “Doc!,” unlike the pants-clad locals who call you, “Doctorrr!” or “Sarr!” Sometimes, he prefers your second name. Oh, I forgot an important thing! Whenever I say ‘he,’ please insert an ‘s’ in brackets before ‘he.’ (Beware the female metrosexual!).

The intro (don’t you know the short form of introduction?) to the metrosexual patient’s complaints starts like this: “Doc! You know my eyes are sooo… precious to me!” (For all others, they are optional accessories!). And then he elaborates his complaints. You should be grateful to him that during the whole conversation, he keeps his notebook closed, ignores his i-phone calls and fancy SMS tones, all…….. for your sake.

Try to concentrate on his talk and suppress the temptation of yawning, or worse, laughing. Other points to remember before you lose any more of your metrosexual patients: 1.The best way (or the worst way?) to insult a metrosexual patient is to talk to him in the local tongue.

2. Don’t ask him: “Do you work on computers?” Not only because it is so obvious, but also because this silly question will, in his eyes, downgrade you to the level of computer illiterates, who call the computer a computer. (‘Computerologists’ call it ‘SYSTEM’)

And then graciously he lets you examine him, with milder comments like, “It’s so hot doc! Can you please increase the AC?” or “Are you sure you are qualified to do this, doc?” You have to increase the AC though you might feel a shiver and assure him that you were a gold medallist in medical school. (Remember! In the U.S., it’s medical school, not college!)

After examining him, you ‘must’ order special investigations. Do you think the metrosexual is going to believe your last-century clinical skills? He believes only in echos, endos, angios and tomos. (Come on! I can’t keep expanding every short form!) Mind you, the report printouts should be of the ultimate quality and in multicolour. He asks you to explain every aspect of the report and listens intently, though he doesn’t understand an iota of your explanation. He loves to carry these coloured papers, but still asks for a soft copy. (CDs and pen drives are much harder than papers, why the hell call them soft!)

Then, he asks for the diagnosis. Don’t be stupid and say things like ‘cold with fever.’ Be exact — ‘Acute viral laryngopharyngitis with pyrexia.’ He immediately googles it in his laptop/ i-phone/both and comes back with lots and lots of information (or misinformation) and starts asking you the most intelligent questions like, “Doc! Is it heat? You know, I missed my oil bath last week!” or “Doc! I had those stupid idlis for breakfast. Is it gas?” Don’t get angry at these queries; but politely say “no.” Don’t rub the metrosexual up the wrong side and end up being the twitters’ target!

After all these ordeals, the metrosexual firmly denies any form of treatment whatsoever; he has come to you only for an assurance that everything is all right with his physique. He is a member of two gyms, you know, (don’t bother him by asking whether he has ever seen the interiors of the gyms) and does pranayama regularly (twice a year). Obviously, he is in good health and doesn’t need to spend unnecessarily (!)

At last, somewhat satisfied, the metro asks you to quote your fees. He searches for petty cash (read one hundred rupees) among his platinum and gold cards; luckily he finds a hundred ‘bucks’ note. After paying, he asks you for a receipt (for the silly tax formalities, you know). After looking at the receipt a couple of times, he asks in a hushed tone, “Doc! Can you make it two hundred, please?” After all, Dil hai Hindustani!

( The writer is a consultant ophthalmologist. Email:

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 2:32:56 PM |

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