Resident physician: "eczema flareup, fever for 3 days, crying, stuffy nose, sore throat...I think this is a virus, it doesn't look like a bacterial infection. I'll prescribe a stronger antihistamine for his rash and then you can continue to give him motrin for the fever and let the virus run its course. Let me just talk to my boss, the attending, and he'll be in to look at him soon."
Attending physician: "You say the eczema flared up after you got a new pattern on his diapers--a lot of kids get rashes from the blue dye in diapers. This rash on his legs looks like it could be from that, and you say it's getting better since you changed diaper brands. This rash on his stomach and armpits, though...and this here inside his elbow...I'd like to do a strep test, because this looks like it might be scarlet fever. "
Guess who was right?
Of course, that's why the attending is in charge, and the resident is still studying.
Because we were in the ER, whence we had hightailed when he wouldn't stop crying (he is normally angry when sick, not sad), we got a choice of antibiotic treatments: either 10 days of the pink liquid twice a day, or one big honkin shot for the whole thing. As Mike puts it, "Two out of three Dells voted for the shot." Charlie didn't get a vote, but he's on the mend and much happier now despite being pretty pissed off about the shot at the time.