In real life, the patients or the patients’ relatives tell the doctor their stories, helped along or interrupted by the doctor’s questions. Some of these questions, such as ‘How long since you first noticed this?’ simply seek to clarify the patients’ statements, others like ‘Has anyone in the family had similar problems?’ have diagnostic implications. The patients provide the answers, which are duly committed to paper or to some electronic device. During the physical examination the doctor inspects, palpates, moves limbs, takes measurements and again records his findings. Unlike court proceedings, details of medical interrogations and examinations are, with few exceptions, 1 not described in fictional literature. * Most novelists, dramatists and short-story writers evidently consider such details uninteresting or scatological and, instead of providing clinical information, emphasize the negative aspects of the doctor-patient relationship: routine questions and procedures that seem entirely innocuous to a physician may appear as mindless exercises or even tortures to a patient, especially if their purpose is not adequately explained.