You know, I have come to expect the unexpected at my workplace over the past seven months. Working with a patient population with cultural practices and beliefs quite different from my own has proved to be an excellent training ground for the time we hope to spend in the future, Lord willing, abroad. Some days I am a little more taken aback by my patient’s words and actions than others… like yesterday.
It was a busy afternoon at work yesterday, as every afternoon at work is, and I was scurrying from one room to the next doing the best I could do to keep people from waiting an eternity in the office. As I dragged my translator into yet another room, I noticed that my 4 year old patient was accompanied by his mother and grandmother. I am now used to the fact that our Hispanic patients tend to bring along a multigenerational fiesta of love with them wherever they go, so that was nothing abnormal.
The oddness began shortly after I began examining the little boy, as I noticed the grandmother whipping out her camera from her bag. “OK, I get it- she’s just a proud grandmother taking pictures of her little grandson at the doctor’s office,” I thought… until the paparazzi began to follow me around the exam room with flash after flash. My eyes met with my translator, Maria’s, several times as we struggled to stifle our giggles, and I just wanted to hurry up and finish that awkward experience.
Armed with a prescription for an antibiotic and countless pictures of the little white nurse practitioner, Grandma Garcia looked quite satisfied as she left our office yesterday afternoon. Meanwhile, Maria and I were as bewildered as ever. Our theory is that Grandma Garcia was visiting from Mexico and wanted to take pictures of an “American Doctor” – and one that looks 16 years old at that- home as a souvenir. But then again, who knows? Perhaps I should start charging for autographs and photo ops… at least it could pay for my zofran.