A young doctor moved out to a small community to replace the ageing doctor there. The older doctor suggested that the younger doctor accompany him as he made his house calls so that the people of the community could become accustomed to him.
At the first house they visited, the younger doctor listened intently as the older doctor and an older lady discussed the weather, their grandchildren and the latest church bulletin.
After some time, the older doctor asked his patient how she had been feeling.
“I’ve been a little sick to my stomach”, she replied.
“Well,” said the older physician, “you’ve probably been over doing it a bit with the fresh fruit. Why don’t you cut back on the amount of fresh fruit you eat and see if that helps”.
As they left the house, the younger doctor asked how the older doctor had reached his diagnosis so quickly. “You didn’t even examine that woman”, the younger doctor stated.
“I didn’t have to”, the elder physician explain. “You noticed I dropped my stethoscope on the floor in there. Well when I bent over to pick it up, I looked around and noticed a half dozen banana peels in the trash can. That is probably what has been making her ill”.
“That’s pretty sneaky,” commented the younger doctor. “Do you mind if I try it at the next house?”
“I don’t suppose it could hurt anything,” the elder physician replied.”
At the next house, the two doctors visited with an elderly widow. They spent several minutes discussing the weather and grandchildren and the latest church bulletin. After several minutes, the younger doctor asked the widow how she had been feeling lately.”
“I’ve felt terribly run down lately,” the widow replied. “I just don’t have as much energy as I used to.”
“You’ve probably been doing too much work for the church”, the younger doctor suggested without even examining his patient. “Perhaps you should ease up a bit and see if that helps”.
As they left, the elder physician said, “Your diagnosis is probably right, but do you mind telling me how you came to that conclusion?”
“Sure,” replied the younger doctor. “Just like you, I dropped my stethoscope on the floor. When I bent down to pick it up, I looked around and there was the preacher hiding under the bed!”