Doc, I think I gotta sit down (On the difference between men and women in the veterinary exam room)
Why is it that men always seem to keel over first? Though the ones that “know thineselves” are smart enough to walk away at the first sign of an impending needle stick or bodily effluence, I always seem to get the ones who pretend to want to be “in on the action.”
And that’s often a bad idea.
Yesterday's roster smacked of the full-moon lineup. You know, the list of new clients coming in for acute conditions from dog bite abscesses to popped out eyeballs and gory cancers of the penis(!). It was not a day for a man to strain himself to show true colors in the exam room. Not this day.
Yet two of three tried. And one earned himself the visceral reaction smackdown. Next thing I heard was a slump against a wall followed by a slurred, “Doc, I gotta sit down, OK?”
Despite the warning signs, only my assistant’s reaction clued me in to the happenings behind the bushy dog whose face I’d been concentrating on. Her release almost earned me a canine snap, but I guess the pale man almost falling off the exam room chair provided her sufficient excuse. After all, better for the vet to get bit than the client to bash his head in on the stainless steel exam table.
So here's where I ask: Why is it that men seem ten times as likely to lose it in the exam room? While the sight of a flowing abscess or a bleeding wound seems rarely to elicit more than an appraising, “Wow!” from a woman, a man will typically back up in utter disgust: "Gee thanks, that was more than I needed to see."
What’s that all about?
Though I relish the opportunity to minister to the fallen, it’s always an unwelcome adventure, this testosterone-related free-fall. What is it I’m supposed to do for this now-demoralized human male?
Worse, yet, is the knowledge that while this happens to me with some regularity, it rarely afflicts my male colleagues’ practice. Do their male clients know better? Do mine feel the need to prove their salt in the presence women and watch what they know they shouldn’t?
Dunno about all that but I do know one thing: A fainting client is a surefire recipe for getting zero complaints about the bill. Imagine that!