Doctors of reddit, what was the dumbest “I read on the internet…” moment you had with a patient?

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

When I was a medical student I met a woman who was heavily interested in homeopathy and natural healing, who started drinking her own urine. You can often drink small amounts with no issue, but she was drinking *only* urine. Urine has a high salt concentration, and she ended up dehydrated with an acute kidney injury.


My father saw a patient who was convinced that hospitals were a sham. She had cancer. She winds up on chemo for a bit but very quickly tells my father she isn’t going to be taking her medication anymore because “she knows when she’s being scammed” and the side effects of her medication were “proof”. Apparently, the chemo my father was prescribing was a ploy by Big Pharma. Apparently, that was what was actually causing the “cancer” in the first place. Well, she decides to go off her medication for a bit and starts feeling better as no chemo = no side effects from chemo. She takes this as further proof that hospitals are a sham and starts blogging about it. Posting online about how she’s living proof that hospitals are fraudulent and telling people to stop buying Big Pharma’s lies. She was then sent back to my father, via ambulance, sometime later. The test results were back and, surprise surprise, stage four cancer. She died in the hospital later that week.


I’m not a doctor, but I did take my very elderly Nana to the hospital after I showed up to her house and found her slurring her words and behaving very strange overall. Now, my Nana is a major hypochondriac and when she was admitted the first thing she told the doctor is that she believed she was experiencing the beginning signs of Parkinson’s. It turned out that she had mixed up a bottle of non-alcoholic wine with a bottle of regular wine, had drank the entire bottle, and was completely hammered.


My dad is an ER doc. One of my favourite recent stories of his of the teen girl with blue legs. Teen girl and her mom had been waiting at the ER for 6 hours when he came on shift. He read the chart before he came into the room that she had blue legs and was otherwise normal. When he looked at her he didn’t see blue around her mouth etc that would indicate lack of oxygen and her levels were normal. Just bright blue legs. He goes over to her with an alcohol swab and wipes some of the blue off her leg. Then asks her if she just bought new jeans. Mom and daughter look at each other and burst out laughing – realizing they waited 6 hours in the ER for nothing. He said they had a good sense of humour about it and could see how ridiculous it all was. Nice funny story that balances out all the crap and sad stuff he’s seen over the years. Edit: typo


I regularly have to explain to junior detectives and families that an autopsy does not function as it does on CSI and I can’t just speculate wildly about the sex, height, hand dominance and motive of a murderer except in very specific instances. But I don’t blame them, I blame fucking CSI.