"The only stupid question is the one unasked." - DocBastard
Ok, I have to admit I didn't actually say that first, and despite exhaustive research (i.e. a 10 second Google search), I have been woefully unable to figure out who did say that first. However, after thinking about it for a while, I realised that I am damned glad I didn't say it, because it's entirely untrue. There are plenty of stupid questions that actually get asked. I get asked these stupid questions all the time - mostly by patients, but also by their families, nurses, and even other doctors.
I get this one all the time: "Is my leg broken or fractured?" Uh...what? I wasn't aware there was a difference. I must have missed that day in Bones 101. If your bone isn't in one piece, it is broken. Full stop. If you're asking if you need surgery to fix it, well that's a different question.
"Is this laceration across my face going to leave a scar?" No, some brilliant surgeon invented a way to reroute the entire wound healing process. OF COURSE it's going to leave a scar!
One thing that car accident victims love to ask is, "How can I get my wallet/purse/money/gun from my car?" They also love asking the details of the accident. Sorry genius, but I wasn't there. I can't begin to guess how your car ended up in a ditch, and I haven't the foggiest idea who has your cell phone.
"When is Dr. Consultant going to be here to see me today?" I love this one. I work with dozens of doctors at several hospitals, and I can personally guarantee you that I don't know the daily schedule of a single one of them.
I guess that idiom needs to be changed. I'll propose this alternative: The only stupid question is the one you ask without using your brain first.
EDIT: I will confess that I deleted two questions from my post that, after reading a few comments, I decided aren't stupid at all. Rather, they just put us in an impossible position to answer. "How long will I live" and "How long will I be in the hospital" are very difficult to answer, but very understandable to ask. I'm guilty of some stupidity sometimes too, and I apologise if I upset anyone too much.