A recent survey conducted by the American Medical Association suggests that doctors find it difficult to accurately diagnose female* patients. In response, we have updated our list of diagnostic codes to ease the burden our providers face when dealing with these often unpleasant or obstinate cases.
Pain exaggeration syndrome (LOL02.02)
This condition is a common affliction among American women wherein the patient grossly exaggerates the intensity of her illness. Symptoms can include talking, describing “lady problems” as if they’re real, or being legitimately concerned about one’s health and well-being. When providing treatment, doctors should divide all self-reported pain ratings by two in the patient’s chart. Alternative diagnoses include CRZY54 (“Female hysteria”) and N94.3 (“Premenstrual tension syndrome”). Seeing this diagnosis in a patient’s chart from a previous doctor may indicate that she can be “a bit much.”
Spontaneous deafness inducement (WTF10.00)
After 2.4 seconds of speaking, the patient provokes an uncontrollable loss of the doctor’s ability to listen or care. The patient’s lips will seem to be moving, but only a low, unintelligible drone, like that of an MRI machine, is heard. Your patient may also exhibit exasperated facial expressions and repetition of the same statement until the provider acknowledges the information.
Treatment steps include nodding and smiling, saying “mm-hm” and “yup”, and gently but firmly placing your hand on the patient’s lower thigh for comfort. If the above treatments are ineffective, the provider can resort to “emergency imagination stimuli” in an attempt to counteract the sudden deafness. In this scenario, picturing the patient naked may reinvigorate your interest in her and break the spell of apathy that has come over you.
General unpleasantness (GTFO1)
When a female patient suffers from this disease, healthcare providers within five feet of the patient feel the sudden urge to refer her to another doctor. The most common symptom is reporting any physical illness signs that couldn’t be the result of a cold or menopause, often accompanied by wearing makeup or generally being “kind of standoffish.”
If you believe your patient is suffering from GTFO1, exit the examination room immediately, citing your immensely busy schedule. Send the nurse in to refer your patient to a nearby doctor whom you strongly dislike.
If the patient has brought along a male companion, pull him aside. Explain to him that you “can’t do anything else when she’s in this state,” share a mutual smirk of acknowledgement, and fist bump before leaving. The departing fist bump may be of the exploding variety if you feel the other man is sufficiently masculine.
Divine conception (OMG13.37)
Divine conception is a pregnancy that manifests itself in truly unexpected ways, including but not limited to ankle sprains, acne, and fluid in the lungs. The only symptom is being a woman.
To treat the condition, you should mention to the patient that you’d like to test for pregnancy “just to be safe,” no matter what symptoms she has actually described. Even if she protests that there is no way she can be pregnant, do it anyway. This way, you have at least reminded her of her biological duty, like a good doctor should.
Note that invoking a deity to justify a test should not be your first course of action, but can be immensely useful if you want to take a quick smoke break in the middle of an appointment
Chronic excessive assertiveness (PITA54.45)
This illness is an inflammation of a woman’s desire to have a say in her own medical care. Frequent signs include being alive, having a pulse, and not behaving like that blow-up doll you had in medical school.
You don’t really have to do anything for this one. This is America, so she doesn’t actually have control of her own healthcare.
“Welp let’s pack it up and call it a day”-itis (DGAF74.56)
DGAF74.56 is possibly the most frequently reported infection from which female patients suffer. It represents the incitement of chronic fatigue in a physician by their patient, such that the provider finds it difficult to spend more than three minutes and forty seven seconds with a woman in a clinical setting. The sole indicator of this disease is the irreversible arrow of time ticking away second by second.
A typically successful treatment plan is for you to just go home, draw a bath, and talk to your lawyer about the several pending malpractice lawsuits against you.
At the end of the day, this is a job. We understand that doctors are, by their nature, highly ambitious and competitive and don’t rest until they’ve found a solution. That is a great goal to have, but you shouldn’t hold yourself to an unrealistic standard. Sometimes, you just can’t do anything. No one is going to judge you if you just give up, especially when your patient is a woman. Frankly, you get credit just for showing up.
* In these guidelines, we refer exclusively to cis-gendered patients. We haven’t yet figured out how to deal with that whole trans thing, so we’re just going to ignore it for now.