Dear Drs* 100 Hour Board,
When I go to the doctor and report something unusual and the doctor says "WOW!" and seems disturbed by it, are they just being politely shocked or are there things that still shock doctors?
-Mico, who can make disturbing popping sounds from my shoulder on command forever and doctors don't seem to like it
*If you are not a doctor of medicine but still a doctor of XYZ, you're welcome to answer this alternative question: what's something from your field that shocks you?
You're not alone. I specialize in being a medical conundrum.
I'm still sometimes truly shocked and/or disgusted by things. I'm the thinking kind of doctor, not the chop-em-up kind, so I'm not totally hardened against things like infected wounds or horrible injuries or bad smells.
That said, usually if I say "Wow!" when a patient is telling me about something, it's just to show empathy and indicate that I understand that whatever they're telling me about is probably very unusual and disturbing to them. If I say "Wow!" while I'm examining them, there's probably something genuinely odd or surprising--not necessarily gross or disturbing, just out of the ordinary. If I see something gross I actually try not to say "Wow!" because the patient already knows it's gross and I don't want to make them feel bad.
- Eirene thinks you should stop making that disturbing popping sound