He really does. He cracks me up. Take, for instance, this primer on How to Stand In for the Doctor (A brief primer for the layperson)
, although I'd be careful about this suggestion:
Use the instruments in the room. If there is a reflex hammer strike the patient where you think a reflex might lie. There are no good reflexes of the head, but the rest is fair game. The carotid arteries in the neck generally are not good ones for measuring blood pressure with a cuff, but if you are feeling confident consider going for it. The patient may need to take a deep breath before this risky inflation around the neck.
I might remove that last suggestion about using the carotid artery for taking blood pressures if I were you, Dr. C., even though it was clearly made in jest. You never know, someone might try it. It wouldn't do to have patients passing out with inflated blood pressure cuffs around their necks in your office or old patients stroking out from dislodged carotid artery plaques. It would be bad for your practice...
One other thing, your suggestion about wearing stethoscopes:
The stethoscope is worn around the neck, much as one might wear a scarf. Practice walking up and down the hall before entering the patient room. Learn how to bend and turn without the stethoscope falling off. By this time I will have finished covering the toilet seat with paper towels.
That'll work for internists and primary care doctors, but not if the lay person is trying to impersonate a surgeon. Surgeons usually don't even bother to carry a stethoscope, and when we do we never
wear them draped around the neck like a scarf. Indeed, we have a term for wearing a stethoscope like that: a flea collar. (Note to non medical types: A "flea" is slang for an internist, a term most commonly used by surgeons.) Indeed, we usually make fun of medical students who sling their stethoscope around their necks like that while rotating on the surgical service.