The other day I had a particularly cantankerous patient. I am just waiting to turn 70 because I figure this is the age when such behavior becomes somewhat tolerated. The guy was being a complete pest and doing everything in his power to agitate me. Finally all of his x-rays got shot, and I found a break in one of the bones of his hand. What should have been a simple x-ray, splint, and go home case turned into x-rays, patient stealing a banana from another patient, patient eating own dinner before allowing me to splint, patient attempting to sneak self into our hazmat shower, patient demanding earlier-refused breathing treatment, patient fighting with social work and getting escorted off the premises by security, case.
Somewhere in there, I did manage to slap some plaster together and get him splinted properly, but he did everything in his power to try and stall the process. As I was molding the splint and manipulating his hand into the proper position I was unfortunately stuck listening to endless complaints with no escape. There just was no pleasing this guy. He wanted us to admit him overnight so that he could have a good night's sleep and several meals. While I felt somewhat bad about sending him out, there was no need to admit him. Social work tried to placate him with a cab voucher to a shelter for the night, but he didn't go for it.
As security was escorting him out and he was screaming, I couldn't help but remember a line from the movie "Juno" which had all sorts of clever lines:
"Doctors are sadists who like to play God and watch lesser people scream."
Personally, I think doctors tend to be more masochistic than sadistic, but perhaps my view is a bit skewed from here.