This was also from the “Plague” show.
DOCTOR: (calling toward the door) Nurse, send in the next patient, please!
PATIENT 1: (enters, nervously) Thank you so much for seeing me, doctor. I’m so glad you’re taking new patients. My last physician said he was retiring rather suddenly and referred me to someone else, who wasn’t taking any new patients, and I do need access to a regular doctor, because I often need—
DOCTOR: Oh, fine, fine. What seems to be the trouble today?
PATIENT 1: Well, I think I’ve been suffering from Porphyria.
DOCTOR: Porphyria? Oh my, that’s very rare. Any relation to British royalty?
PATIENT 1: Well no, but I’ve had stomach cramps, and my, uhh, leavings have been purplish…
DOCTOR: Have you been eating a lot of beets, by any chance?
PATIENT 1: Why yes. Just before he retired suddenly, my last doctor said they might help cure my mad cow disease.
DOCTOR: Mad cow disease, eh?
PATIENT 1: I haven’t eaten any beef in nearly a year and it seems to have cleared up. That and the beets.
DOCTOR: Well, it’s probably safe to lay off the beets at this point. Just the same, the treatment I would prescribe is leeches.
PATIENT 1: Leeches?
DOCTOR: Yes, humans really have more blood than they need and sometimes it causes problems. Leeches really help balance the system. Plus, they were used to treat Porphyria a few hundred years ago, when it was a bigger problem, and seemed to work great. If you’ll just follow me into the leech room, we’ll get started.
PATIENT 1: Wait, you want to put leeches on me?
DOCTOR: Yes, that’s the only way they can feed on your blood and drain some of it off for you. (moves toward “leech room,” making encouraging gesture for PATIENT 1 to follow)
PATIENT 1: Uhh… shouldn’t I make an appointment to come back later for that?
DOCTOR: It’s OK, I can set you up in the leech room while I see my next patient, and by the end of that consultation, you should be good as new.
PATIENT 1: Are you sure I need that? Should I maybe just lay off the beets and see what happens?
DOCTOR: Well, you could do that, but then you won’t get the benefit of leeches today.
PATIENT 1: I think I can live with that. I’m starting to feel a bit better…
DOCTOR: OK, then. Make an appointment with my nurse when you’re ready for your bloodletting, then. Have a great day!
PATIENT 1: Uhh, thanks. (leaves)
DOCTOR: (checks calendar/watch) Hey, I’m even running ahead of schedule! (toward door) Next, please!
PATIENT 2: (enters) Hi, doc.
DOCTOR: Good afternoon. What seems to be the trouble today?
PATIENT 2: What I really need is a referral from my primary care physician, but I don’t have one. I’m hoping you can just write me a referral for plastic surgery.
DOCTOR: Oh? Whatever for?
PATIENT 2: I really need to do something about these jowls. (pushes at skin around jawline)
DOCTOR: You look just fine to me. If you’re really worried about it, though, I recommend leeches.
PATIENT 2: Leeches? Those gross little bloodsuckers?
DOCTOR: They are terribly misunderstood, but yes. You see, unsightly sagging is often caused by excess fluid, and leeches take care of that problem by draining excess fluid from the body.
PATIENT 2: I don’t want to be sucked on by gross… things. I want a quick nip and tuck, and I need a referral.
DOCTOR: Oho, be careful how you phrase that! (chuckles) I’d be happy to refer you to the hundreds of helpful denizens of the leech room.
PATIENT 2: Are you going to give me a referral to a real plastic surgeon or not?
DOCTOR: Leeches are nature’s plastic surgeons!
PATIENT 2: I’m out. (leaves)
DOCTOR: (waves bye-bye to PATIENT 2) What an awesome day! I’m ahead of schedule and 2 for 2! (toward door) Next, please!
PATIENT 3: (enters, blowing nose) Hi, doctor. I know I’m not supposed to come to you for something like a common cold, but I am just so miserable, I was hoping you could give me some antibiotics or something.
DOCTOR: Well you see, it’s not really a policy thing. There’s no medical conspiracy about not treating colds, oh no! (chuckles) It’s that colds tend to be viruses rather than bacterial infections. Bacterial infections can sometimes be cured with antibiotics, but viruses can’t. You pretty much just have to wait them out.
PATIENT 3: Isn’t there anything you can do?
DOCTOR: I’m glad you asked. The most effective anti-viral I know is right behind that door. (indicates “leech room”)
PATIENT 3: Wonderful. I’ll try anything at this point.
DOCTOR: I’m so glad to hear that! I have some new leeches I haven’t had a chance to try out yet.
PATIENT 3: Wait. Leeches?
DOCTOR: Nature’s anti-viral! You see, many viruses are blood-borne. Leeches drain out the infected blood and force your body to make more, fresh blood. It should work great!
PATIENT 3: What do you mean “should?” Have you ever tried this before?
DOCTOR: I haven’t had the opportunity, but the theory is really quite sound. And you did say you were willing to try anything.
PATIENT 3: Pills and nasal spray and stuff. Not leeches.
DOCTOR: Pills won’t help your virus.
PATIENT 3: I’d like a second opinion.
DOCTOR: OK, but I don’t think many physicians will see you for your minor virus.
PATIENT 3: (ponders) How much?
DOCTOR: The first five are $10 each, but after that it’s only $5 each.
PATIENT 3: First five? How many typically go on you?
DOCTOR: It depends on your schedule, really. They’re pretty slow and steady feeders, so if you’ve got time, one or two can do the job, until they get full, of course, and then they’ll have to be swapped out. If you don’t have a lot of time, we can put a couple dozen on at once, and…
PATIENT 3: (retches into office trash can) Apparently it’s not a cold anymore; it’s the flu.
DOCTOR: Still a virus. Still leeches.
PATIENT 3: Pass. (gets up shakily and leaves)
DOCTOR: Next, please!
NURSE: (poking head in from “waiting room”) That’s all we’ve got for the moment. The waiting room’s empty.
DOCTOR: I don’t know what people are always complaining about with spending so much time in their doctor’s office waiting rooms. (pauses) But I know what cures it!
NURSE: What’s that, doctor?
DOCTOR: The same thing that cures everything else: Leeches!
(DOCTOR and NURSE laugh)