If you’ve ever gone to a doctor or been to a hospital, you’ll know that it can be an intimidating experience.
You’re there because either yourself or a loved one is ill or injured and it can often be hard to understand the medical lingo that doctors use to describe diagnoses.
Unless you’re the kind of person who watches medical programs or knows someone in the profession, it can be hard to understand what a doctor or nurse is telling you until they spell it out.
A recent article by Daily Mail suggests that some health professionals are taking advantage of this and using slang as a way to secretly communicate with other doctors and insult patients.
In fact, they go as far as to suggest that doctors have created a whole vocabulary of words and phrases to secretly hide what they’re really saying about people who are ill.
Dr Peter Muennig from Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital told Daily Mail that ‘GOMER’ was a typical phrase used in emergency rooms when a doctor doesn’t want to deal with a patient.
“There’s a certain level of discrimination against the chronically ill, and that’s where GOMER comes from,” he said.
He also added that doctors usually use the term to describe someone they believe is hunting pain medication.
Another is ‘frequent fliers’. While you’ve probably heard the term when planning an overseas trip, health professionals also use the term to describe a patient that regularly returns to a doctor or hospital.
Some people are living with health conditions that require them to visit often and frequently, with Dr Muenning adding that it’s typically used to discuss people with conditions such as diabetes, or when a patient requires dialysis with organ failure.
Another doctor, who remained anonymous in the article, said “status dramaticus” was another term. They suggested that doctors used the phrase when a patient is in pain and lets everyone know about it by complaining or screaming.
The report adds that “slugging” is another popular term. With hospitals often filling up and beds unavailable for people in need, health professionals use the word to describe a patient that refuse to get out of bed after an operation.
Another anonymous doctor added that doctors often become frustrated by patients who show up drunk.
“When you have patients showing up drunk every single night, always overdosing, not taking their blood pressure medications and coming in because of it, it becomes easy to blame patients, though I don’t think you should,” they said.
If you are ever concerned about your health or an injury, it’s always important to see a doctor or seek help from a medical professional.
Sometimes it is the smallest of symptoms that can indicate a big problem, so it’s always good to be on the safe side if in doubt.