QtM and Other Medical Dopers, Some Qs

If you’re sitting there with your friends, for say, a “night on the town” and one of them casually mentions that they’re taking a new medication which has really made a big difference in their life, do you immediately begin spouting the information on the warning label of the drug to them? Or do you say something like, “That’s nice. I’ll have a Jaeger.”?

Depends. Some friends I’d make sure they knew the risks, then keep my mouth shut. Others I’d just keep my mouth shut.

Depends on the friend and the degree of risk.

I’m a nurse. Most of my friends are nurses and our boundries with each other are pretty skimpy. If I were to casually mention I was taking a new medication, the questions would instantly ensue, someone might run out to their car to get their drug book, a bottle of said meds would be demanded for immediate examination, cell phones would appear to call pharmacy/MD SOs and every clinical study anyone read about would hold forth then and there. Why was I taking it? What are my symptoms? Is this the first drug I’ve tried for it? And they’d all want a follow-up report in 2 weeks. I’d consider myself lucky if they just spouted the warnings/adverse effects.
No wonder we don’t have any normal friends. Nobody else can stand us.

I’ve often wondered if doctors can just leave the white coat at the office, so to speak. If you’re out and about and see someone with something obvious, do you automatically (to yourself) diagnose, wonder if they’re being treated, etc. , or do you just not notice people’s health when you’re off the clock?


I do know you don’t want to eat dinner with more than two medical technologists. We tend to discuss the latest odd test results, who just died, weird ER patients, the FOB that came in on third shift, etc. In one small hospital I worked in on second shift, the break room was an alcove in the middle of the lab. Surgery would bring in surgical specimens while we ate dinner, and we’d casually wave at them, and then go dunk the specimen in formaldehyde when we were finished. No, we don’t have a lot of friends, either, and yes, we check out your arm veins when we shake your hand.


Oh, good - maybe you can answer a question for me.

I have very prominent veins on my hands and feet, to some extent on my forearms and shins, too. They’re not like varicose veins, just normal veins but extra three dimsentional. It’s not like I’m a super athlete and work out all the time like the pumping iron guys, but yeah, veins kind of like that in prominence.

Is there any medical siginificance to that? Or is it just handy in case anyone at a hospital needs to stick a needle in me for blood and stuff?

I hate it when friends and family members start going on about their medical issues while we’re out at dinner or something. It’s not just that I hear it at work all day, though that’s part of it. I’m very private about my own medical issues, and I just kind of wish everyone else would be, too.

If people ask me about something directly in that situation, I answer as vaguely and succinctly as possible, then try to change the subject. If I’m not asked, I stay out of it. I’m kind of weird about this, I admit.

Possible comebacks:

“Oh wow. Is it true that you can get interrupted, but still be able to savor that special moment later on?”

More than four hours? Uh-oh.”

“What’s worse, falling asleep at the wheel or the compulsive gambling?”
Actually, they now have downloadable versions of the Prescription Drug Reference, so you can whip out your PDA or whatever, and be a major buzzkill by reeling off several pages worth of dire side effects and warnings for just about anything.

Wow. Color me impressed!

My friends rarely ask medical questions, they’re afraid I’ll gross them out. :cool: I don’t do it on purpose. I just forget.

Speaking of veins why is it that the vein on the inside of my elbow of my left arm is very prominent especially when I work out, but the same vein on the other arm is just barely visible and I am right-handed? :slight_smile:

Yes, I’ll check out your veins.*
If someone started on about their fabulous medication I’d probably say “good for you” and keep eating. It is very unlikely any of my friends would talk about a new medication.

  • Thin people have easier veins, dark-skinned people’s veins are no more difficult to find, but their skin is thinker, so it can be harder to get the blood/put in the cannula. We like veins we can feel, not veins we can see BTW.

I think you meant to say thicker, but are you sure this is actually the case, the google results I have found don’t seem to all agree with one another.

I did find this study though:


If I’m out for a night on the town, I’m not getting paid, right?

Not medication, I’m not a druggie type. But medical procedures and lab results, yah, I’ll talk your ear off (I’m a lab rat). It’s not so much I’m trying to instruct people, I’m just fascinated by such things and will talk about it to the point where I may make some lay people uncomfortable.

Then someone will just fart, and we’ll Laff and Laff, oh how we’ll Laff.

Yes, I meant to say thicker, but what I actually mean is “tougher”. I’m sure the skin thickness is identical. I’m going on my own experience, dark skinned people seem to have tougher skin, at least I always find it more difficult to site a needle or a cannula because of the extra “push” needed.

I’d still rather put a cannula in a slim person of colour than a fat white person.

I grew up in a family of pharmacists and none of them would ever spout warning information like that, unsolicited. They’re probably more informed about the medications than your average doctor.

What if drinking with the medication is not recommended, but that is clearly part of the planned night on the town? Not sure if that’s what the OP was getting at, but that’s what came to my mind.

You mean that the situation in that birth control pill commercial (I think it’s Yaz or something) doesn’t really happen in real life? You just don’t go spouting off about contraindications and side effects and such?

:rolleyes: I hate that commercial.

My wife is a physician, and I don’t think I have ever seen her give unsolicited information in the kind of setting the OP describes, unless it’s a very close friend or family member. I think she usually works under the assumption that the person who mentions the drug is an intelligent person under the care of a competent physician and therefore doesn’t need another cook spoiling the soup. She’s also very conscious of implicitly criticizing another physician’s treatment, especially when she does not know the patient’s background.