Thanks for nothing, PA
Anonymous patient submission
I went to an urgent care clinic to get something cardiovascular checked out. I also had a big lump on my shin so I already had an appointment with an orthopod the next day for that issue. I was seen by a young PA. After the cardiovascular issue, I figured I would show her my leg too, for the same price anyway.
As a point of reference, I was doing construction work, particularly cutting up metal. I did not remember hitting my leg at all with anything nor any impact from anything. The big lump on my shin was mostly white with noticeable redness and some red swirled in. (On the odd chance it's not clearly obvious from my descriptions here, I am not a medical clinician). It was also a little warm feeling and to the touch.
This PA spent at least a few minutes feeling and poking at it a little bit. After a bit, she dictated to the scribe that it was a contusion. I asked her about that because I specifically didn't remember taking any impact from anything on that area. I also said I thought it was a spider bite, initially. In addition, as stated earlier, the area was red and white, not black and blue, like a bruise/contusion. She said it was definitely a contusion and, since she knew I was going to the orthopod the next day anyway, she would do the x-rays. So, I then went and got my leg x-ray'ed and she gave me the disk to take. I was thinking about something and wasn't fully done with the visit yet anyway, when she obnoxiously blurted out, "You're welcome!" as if forgot to say "thank you". I may not be a medical clinician but I am legitimately a high-level expert on human behavior, thought processes, emotions, bias, etc. and, particularly, with this stuff regarding "helping professionals." So, for this part, I know what I'm talking about.
The next day, I show up to the orthopod with my disk in hand. He happens to be a friend of a physician I'm friends with so we talked easily right away. I explained what happened at the walk in clinic the day before and, as I handed him the x-ray disk, I said I initially thought it was a spider bite. As I got my pant leg mostly over the area, he said, "We don't need this" and put the disk on the desk. He said that was clearly MRSA and he knew in 2 seconds because of how it looked and the, "spider bite comment." He then started feeling it and showed me how it the top of the large mound on my leg was "clearly encapsulated" and that it was really bad that she missed it.
So, the PA missed a very simple, yet serious, diagnosis, then gave me radiation I didn't need, wasted my time and ran up the bill with said radiation, and then had the audacity to be condescending and obnoxious because she thought I didn't say "thank you" at the appropriate time.
Now that I know better, I am very sorry I never filed against her license.