The Cypriot approach to doctors is curious in that despite the fact the least qualified quack is venerated as a medicinal messiah, no Cypriot will ever permit them to arrive at a diagnosis on their own. Self sponsored analyses and needless x-rays abound. Basically, the proceedure is as follows:
An individual arrives at an agreeable diagnosis in the privacy of his or her own home and then seeks out a doctor who is willing to confirm it. Thus when plagued with lower back pain, an individual will consult directly with an orthopaedic surgeon.
If this doctor presumes to point out that the patient has a height of 1.46m (5ft 5in) and yet weighs 124 Kg (273 lb.) and is thus clinically obese and then some and therein lies the problem - the patient will thank them and leave. Then the patient will subsequently consult a neurosurgeon or another orthopaedic surgeon or even a plumber in the hope of finding someone with a better understanding of his problem.
What he really needs is a pill to cure the problem, preferably overnight, but the doctor will not give it to him.
What they are in truth seeking, rather than diagnosis, is reassurance that their problem is:
1. In general or better still complete agreement with the theories of the patient, formed with the aid of their spouse, the local pharmacist or any number of friends and relatives in harmony with the health experiences of those individuals.
2. Readily curable without effort on their own behalf in that it requires no alteration in the patient's lifestyle re diet, exercise or smoking.
3. Socially acceptable. Hypertension, for example, not hysteria.
4. Requiring at worst only minor surgical intervention and totally without pain.
5. Acceptances by all involved that the patient is totally blameless for their condition, even if they do smoke 60 cigarettes a day and are suffering from asthma.
Any physician or surgeon who does not conform to these rules may be initially heeded out of respect for his calling but subsequently ignored or ridiculed even if he taught medicine to professors at Yale and looks suspiciously like Albert Einstein* only better dressed.
The patient will seek opinions from dozens of medical and pseudo/quasi medical persons, relatives and even priests for his condition to be first recognised and then appropriately cured.
This may explain why even the most commonplace and chronic patients are seen by themselves as unique and urgent.
Their souvla-induced weight problem alias (to them) glandular hypertrophy has been (metaphorically) cooking now for several years and finally needs recognising today so it can be treated in accordance with the rules above.
The fact that their symptoms are wildly inappropriate for an endocrine disorder is simply an expression of the subtle and intractable nature of their problem and the inescapable need to find a specialist doctor who really understands.
In casualty departments, road traffic accidents, cardiac arrests and haemorrhaging haemophiliacs are brushed aside by these individuals as such problems are assumed to be at best over emphasised or at least irrelevant and thus to be disregarded.
After all a broken head is readily diagnosable by all and thus that patient's problems are already half solved.
*Einstein, Albert (1879-1955), German-born American physicist and Nobel laureate, best known as the creator of the special and general theories of relativity and for his bold hypothesis concerning the particle nature of light. He is perhaps the best-known scientist of the 20th century despite his suspect dress sense