Imagine breaking the news to somebody who's disoriented that Donald Trump is the president of their country. This is an actual job duty for emergency room doctors across the United States — and, according to this Slate story, it's interesting, to say the least.
Dr. Jeremy Samuel Faust is a Boston-based emergency medicine physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital who asks his patients four questions to assess their orientation levels: What is your name? Where are we? What is the date? Who is the president of the United States?
Patients don't always answer the question correctly, whether from minor head injury or chronic dementia, Faust writes.
And the last question, it seems, produces no shortage of surprise when given the correct answer (re-orienting the patient is an important step, Faust writes).
"Some patients are alert, conversant, and are otherwise 'with it' enough to understand the gravity of the news I end up breaking to them," Faust writes. "It’s actually a fascinating moment, and I have become deeply curious as to what each patient’s reaction will be. Each time now, I stop, take a big breath, look them squarely in the eyes, and then I reveal to them the full, undeniable truth of the situation: The president of these United States is Donald J. Trump. I pause. I do not break eye contact.
For the most part, it isn’t pretty."
And then, there are patient reactions that are sort of grimly amusing, Faust writes.
"One elderly woman let out a startling moan, the kind of sound I would have expected if someone had told her that her cat had died. Another blinked twice when I told him. 'Really?' he said, in disbelief. 'Come on, doc, you’re shaking my leg.' One patient accused me of playing a trick, although I have not yet been accused of bringing fake news."
Faust goes on to write that whether the patient supports Trump or not is irrelevant: Each news reveal elicits the same sort of shock.
Bottom-line proof, it seems, that Trump is likely just all-around unfit for the job he's tasked with.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Mike Segar