Dr. Jameson listened half-heartedly as Tommy Sullivan relayed his symptoms, while the other half of the doctor’s heart was pondering where to go for lunch.
“Hmm, well it’s all probably just stress-related,” Dr. Jameson assured Sullivan, hoping he could make it to the deli before the lunch hour rush. “Meditate, take up yoga and presto — you’ll be OK!”
Sullivan, who is legally blind, was puzzled by the quick diagnosis. After all, it had been a terrible week of hacking cough, headaches and nausea. “But you didn’t even listen to my chest or have any tests done. Shouldn’t you …?” asked Sullivan, only to realize the doctor had already left the examination room. “Hello?”
Next on the patient list was Rebecca Smith, who was hoping to find the cause of the painful rash all over her body. As Dr. Jameson turned to examine her, an “aha” moment struck him: Disabled patients are, without a doubt, always stressed because … why wouldn’t they be? They have to live their whole lives with a burdensome disability.
“What if I gave all my disabled patients a quick and easy diagnosis?” thought Dr. Jameson. “Then I could pack in as many patients in a day as possible and fund another fancy car to add to my collection, all while making them think I’m helping them. It would be a perfect win-win situation!”
Dr. Jameson turned away to avoid Smith’s eye contact and said with conviction, “That rash, it’s just caused by stress.”
Smith, who uses a wheelchair, wondered how Dr. Jameson could diagnose her without even examining the rash, unless he had eyes in the back of his head. “Don’t you need to see it?” she asked.
“Nah, it’s a pretty common manifestation of stress in people who are wheelchair-bound. I mean, who wouldn’t be stressed stuck in a chair all day?! I would be!” he said as he sent Smith on her way.
As the day wore on, Dr. Jameson continued with his newfound revelation and convenient, all-encompassing diagnosis, whether it was blurred vision, a broken leg or actual stress. No one could say he was inaccessible or failing patients! He was doing a service to all disabled patients by pretending to listen, giving them medical advice, not making them wait and medicating them. What more could the disabled community ask of an M.D. dressed in a white coat?