Wednesday, October 22, 2003

I don't like the looks of those teenagers

So you know how last year when I was doing my Adolescent Medicine elective as a fourth year med student, I was saying how I like teenagers, because they remind me of me? Well, these days, I'm somewhat less tolerant. I don't know if it's because I'm getting jaded now, or just generally cranky in my old age, but teenagers can just sometimes be completely infuriating. Meet a few of my patients today.

TEEN GIRL #1, who is going to continue having unprotected sex with no contraception, because she hasn't gotten pregnant again since her first abortion, therefore she must be incapable of ever getting pregnant again.

TEEN GIRL #2, who (rightly) wants to lose weight but doesn't actually want to change her diet or exercise, and therefore is popping diet pills by the handful.

TEEN GIRL #3, who presents with the chief complaint of "I have headache, dizziness, nausea, weakness, a parasite from cats in my brain, a kidney infection, stomach pain, yellow discharge, and my left vagina hurts." (No, she wasn't pregnant, whiz kids.)

TEEN GIRL #4, who already has two very premature twin boys that she's raising on her own, and who blames herself that the father of the kids is completely not involved because "baby mommas are stressful."

It's funny, though, teenagers seem to respond better to medical advice when you yell at them a little bit. Do you quiet, calm, logical doctor explaining voice, and they glaze right over like it's school, but raise your voice a little and say, "Girl, what the hell are you thinking having unprotected sex with a guy that you know is cheating on you?" and they smile and roll their eyes and say "I know, I know."

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