Best, Wang Shi Kai Email 4 Part 2
This post is part of a series we are calling "Best, Wang Shi Kai." Dr. Rich is an Emergency Medicine Physician from Los Angeles who picked up and moved to China where he is currently practicing. He was given the name Wang Shi Kai by the Chinese Medical Board. In this series of posts we feature his emails sharing his unique experiences practicing medicine in China. Here are the links to his first email which gives some background Email 1 Part 1, Email 1 Part 2, Email 2 Part 1, Email 2 Part 2, Email 3 Part 1, Email 3 Part 2.
The following is the conclusion of Email 4. Click the link for Email 4 Part 1
Some other bizarre patient encounters:
A child ate a whole, salty Duck egg and his Mother was worried about hypernatremia and kidney damage. She demanded that I lavage the child's stomach or give medication to induce vomiting. She also wanted renal function tests. She must have done some reading. When I refused, she became very angry and left. I'm sure she went to another hospital and got what she wanted.
It is not uncommon for a patient to refuse medications that I have ordered, especially pregnant or lactating women. They just don't trust Doctors. They might complain of severe headache, intractable vomiting, or abdominal pain. Then they refuse medicine or say they don't need it, at which point I am left staring at them, wondering what, exactly, it is that they want.
A 21 year-old male got his hair dyed and had minor scalp irritation. Somehow, he managed to bring the owner and entire staff of the hair salon to the ER at 2 am on a Saturday, demanding that they pay his hospital bill plus compensation for possible future hair loss. There aren't many attorneys here for cases like this so people just handle it themselves.
The Chinese believe that spicy food affects healing and should be avoided when you are sick. They also blame many illnesses on spicy food. Yet everyone here eats spicy food!
Cold air is also blamed for many problems. Post-partum women are told to not shower, bathe or go outside for 1 month after delivery. If they must go outside, they are told to wear long sleeves and hats so that the wind doesn't go through their skin and into their veins.
I am constantly receiving notifications to avoid using drugs from certain Chinese manufacturers due to concerns about fake medications. I have offered Tetanus immune globulin to many patients with lacerations and they ask me where the vaccine is made. If it comes from China, they often decline. There were recently headline news stories about phony Rabies vaccines.
A Pediatrician asked me to see a 2 month-old with eczema because there was a tiny amount of bleeding from the scalp where the skin was very dry and cracked. The reason for the consultation: Pediatricians do not see trauma!
I have frequently been photographed or videotaped by family members or friends while performing an examination or doing a procedure. It can be very uncomfortable. i am almost never asked for consent. However, last night, I had a woman video me while I did an Epley Maneuver on her husband who was suffering from BPPV. I thought that was reasonable since she could then help him do vestibular exercises at home. But mostly I suspect I am being filmed so that someone can seek revenge on me if I misdiagnose or mistreat their loved ones!
Until I arrived here, the most common technique I had witnessed for relocating a shoulder was for the Doctor to walk up to the patient without introducing himself, place his foot in the axilla, and pull as hard as he could without any analgesics or sedatives. The patients would scream in pain. Sometimes the doctor would scream as well. I have now supervised numerous successful shoulder reductions by the Fellows using much kinder techniques. Maybe I really am making a difference?!
I wish you and this year's graduating class all the best. I have great confidence in all of you. Probably now more than ever.
Keep in touch,
Wang Shi Kai
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