Don’t ask the professionals in your family for advice- they will most likely be useless in giving it.

As often, blogs of my friend and fellow blogger and doctor Victo Dolore inspired me to write something.

Like her writing about how and why she became a doctor inspired me to tell you why my main reason to become a medic was skiing.

So now, this is my take on her

I grew up with my grandfather, both parents and several other relatives being doctors, Being a doctor was nothing special , just an ordinary job with irritating working times. I remember celebrating Christmas a day later because one of my parents was on call. Nothing glamorous about being a doctor.

Then my mother, the political system in communist Czechoslovakia and of course those skiing influences made me study medicine too.

I love my job as a GP, and I do not mind giving informed advice and explanations of medical conditions to friends, I listen, and make a careful assessment of the situation. What they should ask their doctor and so on….

At the moment, I am in the Austrian Alps with my friend Eva. She developed shingles. She wrote an excited email to her husband in Prague how I diagnosed it within 5 seconds, arranged for a local doctor to give her an prescription of an antiviral drug and how he did not charge her because I already made the diagnosis and I was “ a colleague” . She claims she will only travel with me from now on, as her “ personal travelling physician”.  I told her “ as long as you keep picking me up on the slope like you did after my concussion recently.”


But my family? They would all tell you I am useless, and they have a point.

My ex husband, an Art historian always used to diagnose all my children’s illnesses. “ Do you think they might have chickenpox?” “ Do they?” I asked. He made me look, and indeed they did.

I remember the time when my daughter came home crying after she fell roller-skating. She had a sore wrist. I was cooking supper, I really did not have time for this. My husband kept asking if it could be broken. “ Unlikely”, I said, frying Wienerchnitzels, “ Are you sure?”

How can I be sure without an x ray?” , I replied,

After dinner, because of a rather frosty atmosphere, I took my daughter to the local hospital where I worked. In the car, she could move the wrist quite normally, “ They will think I ma a neurotic mother” I thought.

They didn’t, my nine year old daughter came from the x ray department grinning and skipping.

I am the first person in the family with a broken bone! Hurrah! “  She was right, they put her arm in a plaster which she kept in her toy box for years after.

Ever since then, my medical involvement with my family became a joke.

We never had Aspirin, plasters, or anything. I go a bit better later , but not much better.

As a defence I am telling them a paraphrase of that well known saying:

A doctor who treats his family has fools as patients.

There are plenty of sayings like this in Czech –“A farrier’s horse wears no horseshoes” and many others. Maybe this is a Czech thing, is it? I doubt it.

Now when my lovely and sensible adult children get ill, I advice them to see a doctor, and they do. They think I am a good mother but useless as a doctor for my family.

And you know what? Maybe it is a good thing. I can do the sympathetic, caring bit, leaving the diagnosis and treatment to professionals.

When I finished typing this blog, I asked my friend Eva, who is a journalist for advice how to improve it. She had nothing to offer.

Which in a way proves my point.

What do you think ?


2 thoughts on “Don’t ask the professionals in your family for advice- they will most likely be useless in giving it.

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