My patient was a man who had torsion of his testicle, resulting in the testicle being dead and needing to be removed surgically. I called the urologist in to see and admit him for surgery.
After seeing the patient, the urologist came up to me and told me the patient had refused to talk to him about surgery or even to let himself be examined.
This really puzzled me. Since the patient was primarily Spanish speaking, I asked if the urologist had used an interpreter. He said the patient’s English was good enough that an interpreter was not needed. This made me nervous. I told him if the patient were refusing surgery, it would make sense to use an interpreter to make sure the patient really understood the risks associated with his decision.
Anyway, as it turns out, the urologist had looked for a patient named Garcia and had gone into the room of a different man named Garcia who was there for chest pain! True, this man primarily spoke English but he also had nothing wrong with his testicle and was not about to talk to anyone about getting his cut off! Fortunately, we were able to identify the mistake, get the urologist to the correct Mr. Garcia and get the right man admitted for surgery.
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