Wednesday 22nd April At home 21.36

“Good Evening,  Dr Dennis. It’s Paul Mathias here from the General Medical Council.”
“Good Evening, Mr Mathias. I’m surprised that you’re ringing at this time. “
“Well, we’ve had a complaint about you, Dr Dennis. Mr Lionel Bennett rang us this morning.”
“Oh, yes, Mr Bennett, I visited him last week.”
“Yes.  There were three distinct strands to his complaint but a common theme, I think. To start with, he alleges that you examined his throat with a teaspoon. Is that correct?”
“I did. We had run out of tongue depressors. Andrea had forgotten to order any this month. Mind you, it was one of his own teaspoons, not one that I found in my pocket.”
“He also claims that you guessed his pulse rate.”
“That is not true. I felt his pulse.  It was going at approximately 100 beats per minute. I couldn’t give a more precise figure: my watch has gone in for repairs.”
“Thirdly and finally, he says that you diagnosed a chest infection without listening to his chest.”
“That’s correct, I had left my stethoscope at home. However, he clearly had a chest infection. He had had a cough with thick, green sputum for a week. He had been feverish and shivering. Over the last few days he had started to feel out of breath. He had a fast pulse and a raised respiratory rate. I could hear him wheezing as soon as I went into his bedroom. I don’t think I needed a stethoscope.”
” Listen,  Dr Dennis, I am sure that your diagnosis of left basal bronchopneumonia was correct. However, you must agree that not having the proper equipment is extremely damaging to the reputation of the profession. What are your patients going to think if you turn up with half a medical kit or a broken spyghnomanometer? We had a surgeon referred to us last week who had made his own face mask from a paper doily. Can you believe it? He was struck off immediately.”
My dad did not say anything.
“Of course, we will be referring one of our performance panels, Dr Dennis. That is routine in a situation like this. I would also like to add, from a personal point of view, that I think you are a disgrace.”

The proper equipment.
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