YOU might think your local GPs spend their time dealing with coughs and colds – but the truth is very different.
From draining pus-filled cysts and manually ‘evacuating bowels’ – where patients’ stools are extracted by hand from the rectum – to dealing with smelly feet and performing vasectomies: what really goes down at the doctors is much more gruesome than you may think.
Now, a Channel 5 documentary series lays bare the reality of being a GP, revealing what really goes on in the consultation room.
The man who vomited poo and the patient crawling with maggots
In June, a family doctor in Russia pulled a parasitic worm from the eyebrow of a 32-year-old woman, who had been puzzled by a mysterious itchy bump she’d nursed for two weeks.
While earlier this year Florida woman Katie Holley, 29,woke up with a flying cockroach stuck in her ear, which had to be removed by doctors in several pieces in a gruesome ordeal.
Doctors have even had to deal with people vomiting poo, with one Reddit user saying: “we had an elderly man with a bowel obstruction basically vomiting stool. I don’t enjoy the smell of vomit or stool, but the two mixed together was one of the worst things I’ve ever smelled.”
One doctor on chat site Quora said one of the worst things he had witnessed was a patient battling a flesh-eating disease in his arm and leg that had maggots crawling around in it.
And of course, there’s US-based doctor Sandra Lee – aka ‘Doctor Pimple Popper‘ who has become a breakout star, with her videos of lancing giant boils – some as big as bowling balls – as well as spots and cysts gaining a staggering five million views on YouTube.
Earlier this year, Dr Lee even removed a ‘unicorn horn’ worth of pus from a lump that had been growing on a man’s head for six years.
It took 20 minutes for the doctor to remove all of the pus – which poured out in a manner resembling cottage cheese – before stitching the resulting wound back together.
‘I once drained a cyst and pus squirted in my mouth’
The first episode of the new C5 series focuses on The Ridge Medical Practice, in Bradford, North Yorkshire.
It’s where Dr Khan, Dr Estelle McFadden and their colleagues provide medical and emotional support to their tight-knit community.
“People sometimes think the real doctors work in hospitals and GPs only treat coughs and colds,” Dr Amir Khan, star of Channel 5’s GPs: Behind Closed Doors, tells Sun Online.
“But that’s far from the truth.
“We deal with all sorts of problems every day and some of them would make your eyes water.
“I was once draining an infection when it exploded and some of it went into my mouth.
“I’ve always worn a mask since then.”
Dr Khan said: “We deal with all sorts of problems every day and some of them would make your eyes water.
“It’s the same for every GP, it’s just a part of the job.
“There’s no way you could be a GP and let being squeamish affect what you do.
“You sort of just get used to it.
“For example, I really dislike feet when I’m at home and you see it on telly, but at work it’s just another thing to deal with.”
“Once you’ve manually evacuated someone’s bowels, there’s nothing left to phase you.”
The OAP who caught her husband in bed with another woman at his care home
Margaret is one of the first patients in the show. She comes in for a dementia review and ends up seeking relationship advice after admitting she caught another woman in her husband Philip’s bed at his care home.
“I’m awfully jealous,” she confesses, stopping nurse practitioner Rebecca Weston in her tracks.
“There’s a woman up there and I found her in his bed yesterday.”
“I said to her ‘would you mind getting out’… he’s my husband, not yours.”
“She said, ‘you are bossy’. I said ‘wouldn’t you be the same if somebody was in your husband’s bed?’”
It turns out Margaret had nothing to worry about – her love rival, a care home friend of husband Philip, had simply got confused and wandered into his bed by mistake.
A ‘scratch and sting’ before getting the snip
Dad-of-four Carl, 50, is all smiles as he meets Dr Daniel Caris to get a vasectomy.
But the laughing and joking soon turn to cries which wouldn’t sound out of place in a torture chamber.
“I’m a bit nervous,” he confesses, donning his standard issue blue gown and assuming the position on the operating table.
A few ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ later and Dr Caris is warning his patient to prepare for a “scratch and a sting”.
Then come the screams as the doc successfully cuts Carl’s tube by burning it in two places.
“Oh, it smells like burning,” remarks the dad as the quick procedure finishes and he gets ready to go home.
But despite performing essential medical procedures in the surgery, Khan admits he’s concerned that these services may not be available in the future.
“It’s no secret the NHS is on its knees,” Dr Khan tells us.
“The numbers of patients are increasing every day but our resources aren’t.
“I just think patients sometimes are desperate to get the help they want and it might not be as easy or as fast as they were hoping.
“But I think it’s important that we treat every patient as a human and as a friend.”
GPs: Behind Closed Doors airs at 8pm on Wednesday August 29 on Channel 5.