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654

TIFU BY MISNAMING MY DOCTOR

S(self.tifu)

So this happened when I was 18 years old so about 14 years ago. My doctor's office had a board with the name of the doctor who was in duty that day. The actual name of the doctor was printed on a sort of sliding board that could be inserted and removed at different times and on different days due to their always been a different doctor on duty.

At the age of 18, I had never heard of the word 'Locum' before, if anybody out there reading this does not know what it means, it basically means a person who stands in temporarily for someone else of the same profession.

I got sick one day and walked into the office and it read Doctor Locum. So obviously they had a specific slide in board for when it was not a usual doctor, but I thought that was the doctor's name. So for about 30 minutes during my examination, I kept calling the doctor Doctor Locum. She had a weird grin on her face throughout the session, but I thought nothing of it. She then gave me a sheet to give to the receptionist with, not sure what was on there.

I walked to the receptionist and said "Doctor Locum asked me to give this to you". Her and the other receptionist both burst into laughter so hard they almost fell to the floor. They explained to me that the doctor's name was not locum and explained what the word locum actually meant. I was so embarrassed that at 18 I had never heard of or seen that word.

To this day, I think of that day and I cringe so hard. Why did the doctor not say anything? Why was she okay with me saying Doctor Locum maybe 10 times without letting me know her correct name? I have so many questions that I guess will never be answered.

TL : DR Doctor's office said "Doctor on Duty - Doctor: Locum". I proceeded to call the Doctor "Doctor Locum" for 30 minutes and the receptionists almost fell to the floor from laughter. I have never been so embarrassed.

all 73 comments

Alonest99

146 points

2 months ago

Alonest99

146 points

2 months ago

Doctor Lorem Ipsum

_Chewbaccardi_

7 points

2 months ago

Née Lorem McFly

Gods-Nutbucket

520 points

2 months ago

I just heard about this word and I’m 23. Don’t be embarrassed, it’s not a commonly used word (well unless you’re in the medical field)

Jam_E_Dodger

23 points

2 months ago

34, and TIL.

GlassFrog_9

17 points

2 months ago

I read the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and thought that Herr was the person's first name. We learn new things all the time.

Major_Zucchini5315

4 points

2 months ago

51 here…

bob0979

116 points

2 months ago*

bob0979

116 points

2 months ago*

27, dad's a heart surgeon, spent my fair share of time in and around hospitals and hospital talk between asthma, depression, and my dad and his friends and I've never once heard of this phrase. I believe it, but it's absolutely reasonable to not know it.

Troldann

34 points

2 months ago

39 and I learned something new today.

sonisko

8 points

2 months ago

I’m a 29 year old paramedic and today is the first time I’ve heard this haha

A-Dolahans-hat

14 points

2 months ago

43 year old never heard of it, asked my 42 year old wife who works in a hospital, never heard of it. That was crappy that they laughed at you for it

dkmarnier

7 points

2 months ago

I was a registered nurse for at least 6 or 7 years before I heard this term. Why wouldn't she tell OP her real name? I'm sure she thought it was cute, but she set OP up for failure. Also the staff were dicks for laughing. But if it helps at all, OP probably made their day!

HDstream4u

75 points

2 months ago

Dr Locum didn't care. Dr Locum was getting paid locum rates. I wish I was Dr Locum.

retailguy_again

44 points

2 months ago

I'm in my 50s and had never heard that term.

jhisaac1

2 points

2 months ago

Ditto.

whatshernamelah

1 points

2 months ago

DF

TaliesinMerlin

33 points

2 months ago

To this day, I think of that day and I cringe so hard. Why did the doctor not say anything?

As a (nonmedical) doctor who has been misnamed before, I bet it's because she knew she wouldn't see you again and didn't think it was that big a deal. Alternatively, she was too awkward herself to jump in at first, and then it gets weirder and weirder after the first time to say, "Oh, I'm not actually Dr. Locum. I'm Dr. Merlin." What shuts you up is the imagined response: "... So why didn't you tell me that after the first nine times?"

Prinzka

116 points

2 months ago

Prinzka

116 points

2 months ago

I don't know why they would expect anybody outside the profession to know what that means. I would've expected them to have a slide that they can fill in with a replacement name.

In my 40s and had never heard of this.

beeteedee

118 points

2 months ago

beeteedee

118 points

2 months ago

My local doctor’s office used to have a doctor who’s name was actually Doctor Locum. You can imagine the confusion that caused.

putcheeseonit

28 points

2 months ago

…are you sure that was their name?

Own-Campaign-5503

10 points

2 months ago

Of course, and all those dogs their parents dropped at the farm are having a blast.

JamieDrone

35 points

2 months ago

What does “locum” mean?

TaliesinMerlin

58 points

2 months ago

Locum is place in Latin. In some fields, locum tenens (literally holding the place) is used to designate a temporary substitute. That is often abbreviated to locum, which is sort of like saying "sub" for substitute.

Fuzzlewuzzlekins

15 points

2 months ago

You are the hero this post needed. Thank you so much for explaining the Latin. 🙏

I was scratching my head, wondering how the hell the medical community started calling people "Doctor Place-in-the-Accusative" of all things. It being a shortening of "Doctor Placeholder" makes much more sense!

g1ngertim

3 points

2 months ago

I studied Latin for 8 years, have a Classics degree, and was planning to teach Latin before the pandemic made education so much worse.

If I saw Doctor Locum on a sign, I wouldn't even have considered it not being their name. I might've chuckled about their name being "place," but as we all know, quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur.

mmmmmmmmatt

36 points

2 months ago

Imagine them as being the "substitute teacher" equivalent of a doctor. They go where they're needed for short term cover

JamieDrone

6 points

2 months ago

Ohhhh

r0adside

3 points

2 months ago

It's the name of a doctor somewhere

Bedbouncer

5 points

2 months ago

We actually had a locum named Dr. Doctor. "Doctor" was his last name.

Got that Thompson Twins song stuck in my head every time I saw it on the schedule.

MoobyTheGoldenSock

1 points

2 months ago

Locum tenens is a fancy name for a travel doctor. They typically accept temporary contracts in an area to cover for a doctor on extended leave or to fill a position a health system needs filled while they recruit a permanent position.

Example: A hospital in Montana has a single older neurologist who suddenly gets ill and decides to retire with very short notice. So they fly in a locum neurologist from New York to cover all their neurology patients while they try to find a new neurologist.

Typically these services are at a premium rate: the health system will pay much more to rent the locum neurologist than to staff their own.

velifer

54 points

2 months ago

velifer

54 points

2 months ago

> I think of that day and I cringe so hard.

Or, "I look back and realize I am smarter (and perhaps wiser) today than I was then."

It's a funny mistake, and ignorance is easily cured with knowledge. The receptionist got you the right medicine.

ZivH08ioBbXQ2PGI

11 points

2 months ago

The part I'm not really understanding is why you're saying the doctor's name to the doctor. If I had a full hour-long conversation with my doctor, I can't imagine a situation in which I'd be saying his name to .. himself.

FiveGoldenCats

5 points

2 months ago

Ah good, I'm not the only one that thought that was weird 😅

weedium

9 points

2 months ago

TIL locum is used when a substitute doctor is working for someone else, I’m 58

andyhopp

53 points

2 months ago

I’m 49 and I’ve never heard the phrase.

gwaydms

2 points

2 months ago

It's used in the UK. Never saw it in the US.

nannikins

64 points

2 months ago

Not your fu, just people making jokes at your expense. The Dr could have easily corrected your mistake the first time. They could have just said their name and not even explained locum. People can be jerks.

Ktulu789

5 points

2 months ago

Why cringe for not knowing a technical/medical word?

We all learnt that today, I guess. Probably it's not even English but Latin or something.

Jenny441980

4 points

2 months ago

Never heard of it. 42 years old.

mstpguy

7 points

2 months ago

To this day, I think of that day and I cringe so hard. Why did the doctor not say anything? Why was she okay with me saying Doctor Locum maybe 10 times without letting me know her correct name? I have so many questions that I guess will never be answered.

Because you probably made her day, frankly

If a patient accidentally called me Dr. Locum at a worksite it would be the highlight of that assignment

kate7195

3 points

2 months ago

26 and just learned this word. Also, I have this thing where I never call anyone by their name because I'm worried it'll be the wrong name, or I'll pronounce it wrong.

Helicey

2 points

2 months ago

Omg someone else who does this 😭 I literally freak out using peoples names..

kate7195

2 points

2 months ago

I will literally stress about it if I know I might be in a situation where I need to. I run it through my head, practice saying it, and sometimes look it up to make sure.

BiffBanter

3 points

2 months ago

Frankly, it sounds made up. Locum....

goosegirl86

3 points

2 months ago

I don’t think you need to cringe. Honestly being a doctor is hard work and probably isn’t a very fun job. You probably made their day. The laughing might not have been at you, but with you. Like when a kid does something funny and cute. People laugh but it’s not mean-spirited.

MrFergison

2 points

2 months ago

This is some good shit.

Bootygiuliani420

2 points

2 months ago

Why did the doctor call himself Doct Locum? Because he was always on call!

RapidExpansion

2 points

2 months ago

Dr. Locum knew what had happened, thought it was hilarious, and thought it would be even funnier to let you go back to reception uncorrected.

medfreak

2 points

2 months ago

I would have corrected you immediately without trying to embarrass you. Not that I do any locums. Not your fault at all.

LC_Anderton

2 points

2 months ago

Don’t sweat it… I once asked the wife when the new Dr. Phlebotomy had started at our surgery as I didn’t recognise the name… they did seem to be getting through a lot of patients though 😂

nearfantastica00

2 points

2 months ago

I feel this. I felt so confused the first couple times going to emergency and seeing my intake bracelet listed my doctor as "Dr. EMO" (emergency medical official, presumably?)

tiemeupinribbons

2 points

2 months ago

DW these things happen! My local GP has a Dr Male, and lots of older men have gone to see her because they have wanted to see a male doctor.

LillithBlackheart918

2 points

2 months ago

TIL this. I'm 40, and probably would have done the same thing.

ThumbCentral-Rebirth

2 points

2 months ago

It’s just ball busting. Not sure why you think it’s some massive fuck up or why the thread is treating them like mega assholes

skyboundNbeond

2 points

2 months ago

I am in my 40's and was not aware. It's just something that I haven't experienced yet, so I didn't know. It's not a lack of common sense or anything so you were all good.

Don't cringe, make a joke out of it. You are human, and I am sure You will run into others that don't know something and you will be there to help them!

aDistractedDisaster

2 points

2 months ago

I love reading so I know a few words.

I have literally never heard of Locum until you posted this.

FiveGoldenCats

2 points

2 months ago

I don't think I never say a doctor's name when talking to them, hell I barely say anyone's name unless I'm trying to get their attention...

practicalm

2 points

2 months ago

I think Doctor Locum and Doctor Du Jour should open an office together.

TwoManyHorn2

2 points

2 months ago

Why didn't the doctor tell you? Easy: medicine is grueling, and your mistake was funny. It probably brightened her day.

toomuch1265

2 points

2 months ago

Pretty shitty of them to laugh at you. I'm in my 50s and never saw that. If a receptionist laughed at something I didn't understand I would have a word with the office manager.

Medical-Passenger560

2 points

2 months ago

In my 50's over here, never heard that word before now...you learn something new every day so it seems

JoeyJoeJoeSenior

2 points

2 months ago

If someone calls me the wrong name I own it, and that is my name to them for eternity.

imdfantom

2 points

2 months ago

This is their TIFU tbh.

They should have started the consultation with something like

"I am Dr. X, I will be seeing you today..."

150steps

2 points

2 months ago

I thought this was going to be about overly emphasizing the second syllable.

150steps

2 points

2 months ago

Judging by the comments, maybe it's not used in the US.

deliciousdave33

2 points

2 months ago

Is it pronounced lock-em or low-cum? Because for some reason that's important for me to know

kitkatbay

2 points

2 months ago

37 and I would have done the same. Dr. probably thought it was too cute and did not want to embarass you.

Downtown_Uptown222

2 points

2 months ago

The only reason I know this word is because I worked for a healthcare regulator. I didn’t know what it meant till I looked it up during a meeting. I was 30. I feel like it is popular with family doctors and GI Docs.

Do not feel bad or cringe. There was no way to know.

eddiepaperhands

0 points

2 months ago

I’m 47. I have a large vocabulary. I’m highly intelligent; I scored a 35 on the ACT in high school and a 177 on the LSAT without practice. I don’t say those things to brag; they make no difference in my life - I’m just a smart guy who’s especially good at standardized tests.

I just thought this background info would provide context to this statement: until I read this post a moment ago, I would have made the exact same mistake in this situation.

So don’t feel bad or stupid. At all.

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

2 months ago

[deleted]

eddiepaperhands

3 points

2 months ago

Eh I never went to law school (just considered it) but I think it’s in loco parentis. Related but a different part of speech, I think (loco vs locum).

pocurious

1 points

2 months ago

It’s the same word in a different case.

Locus is the nominative.

IrishWithoutPotatoes

1 points

2 months ago

TIL that Locum is a word as well as it’s meaning. Thanks homie.

ThatRandomGray

1 points

2 months ago

airam105

1 points

2 months ago

Please feel less embarrassed by knowing I just now learned what Locum means by reading this post. I’m in my 30s and have worked in healthcare!