Is It A Full Moon?


[Rrrring … rrrring]
“Hello, Metro General Emergency Department, how may I help you?”
[Man with voice kind of like Steve Harvey] “Yeah, do you all do DNA paternity testing down there?”
“Ummm, no. No emergency department does paternity testing that I know of. You’d have to get that done through your doctor’s office.”
“I don’t have no doc-tor and I need the results by tomorrow morning. My old lady’s trying to take my kids to California and she’s gonna try to make me pay child support for them. I don’t think they’re mine. I gotta get a court injunction or something to stop her.”
“You’d have to discuss that with a lawyer or with a judge. We don’t do that stuff here.”

Ten minutes later …
[Man with voice kind of like Steve Harvey faking like he has a cold] “How long’s the wait to do DNA testing tonight?”
“Sir, I told you before, we don’t do DNA testing in the emergency department.”
“That wasn’t me.”
“Then it was someone calling from the same phone number. We have caller ID, you know.”
“You get me the supervisor, then.”
“Sir, she’s going to tell you the same thing. We don’t do paternity testing in the emergency department.”
[click] “Did you try Maury Povich’s emergency pager?”

Turns and looks at me.
“I want those three minutes of my life back.”


This and all posts about patients may be fictional, may be my experiences, may be submitted by readers for publication here, or may be any combination of the above. Factual statements may or may not be accurate. If you would like to have a patient story published on WhiteCoat’s Call Room, please e-mail me.


  1. Your story reminds me of one of my weird phone calls I received. I once worked at the front desk of an assisted living and this was a call I tell to people all the time. Let’s just say the conversation went something like this:

    Me: Hello, SR Assisted Living. This is JK, how may I help you?
    Caller: Yea, um, I just got kicked out of my parent’s house and they told me to call here, the assisted living, because I need a place to stay for the night.
    Me: Oh no, I’m sorry, this is a place for the elderly who are unable to care for themselves. People here are usually 65 and older.
    Caller: Yea, but they told me to call here. I just got kicked out of the house.
    Me: I’m really sorry to hear that but an assisted living is similar to a nursing home. It’s not really for your type of situation.
    Caller: Ooooohh, Ok. I didn’t know………

    The only thing I regret is not Googling something up for her while I was on the phone.

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