Bad Bedside Manner 

I’m pretty sure “remove it before you show them” is part of the Hippocratic Oath.

Earlier this year, a woman in Taiwan heard an unexplained rustling for several days. When she finally saw a doctor, he determined that there was a spider living in her ear. A spider. Living. In her ear.

Firstaball, Barvd! But secondaball, come on, doc! What is this?

The doctor took a photo of what he found and showed it to her.

“The patient screamed,” Tengchin Wang, director of the otolaryngology department at Show Chwan Memorial Hospital, said in a statement to The Washington Post.

Wang then used a suction tube to remove the spider, which was about two millimeters wide. Once he did, the woman’s symptoms abated, and she went home.

So, the doctor:

  1. Looked inside the patient’s ear and discovered a spider (as well as the spider’s molted exoskeleton).

  2. Took a photo and video of same, to show the New England Journal of Medicine and also his friends, I’m sure.

  3. Showed these visuals to the patient, clearly causing her distress.

  4. And finally, after all that, removed the spider that was, again, living inside her ear.

Listen, while the sheer horror of the video is sure something to see, step two was probably not necessary. Step three certainly was not necessary! At a bare minimum, do step four before step three! Did this doctor think the patient was going to say “Oh, no, that’s just my pet arachnid, William Rustle. He’s not the issue, please keep looking, and be careful not to hurt Bill”? No! Remove the spider post-haste, then if you want, you can tell the patient about the disgusting thing that is now in the past.