A young doctor moved out to a small community to replace the
aging 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
“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
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
“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
“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!”