Is It Sunday? Must be Time for Physician Phunnies!

We suspect these would be less funny if they weren’t . . . you know . . . true:

You know the phrase, “We could never make these things up?”

“As an avid reader of true crime, Demon Doctors was even more fascinating and horrific because all of the murderers were physicians like myself.” (book review) Elizabeth Linberg, MD, Urgent Care Director, Tucson, Arizona

“Getting better has one side effect. It has a negative impact on profit within the medical system.”  Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, “Confessions of a Medical Heretic”

“I have never known a clinical psychologist to report, on the basis of a projective test, that the subject is a normal, mentally healthy person. There is no behavior or person that a modern psychiatrist cannot plausibly diagnose as abnormal.” Dr. Thomas Szasz, The Manufacture of Madness

“Every hospital in America has at least one disruptive physician on its medical staff. And most have more than one.” Richard Sheff, MD

“You want to be taken seriously? Practice ignoring the first three nurses who say good morning to you everyday.” Len Hastings, Resident, UCSD, La Jolla

Question: “Now that we know Dr. Swango did in fact poison three paramedics, would you have any concerns about rehiring him to work in your hospital?”

Answer:  “I would have no problem at all.” Robert Haller, Vice President, National Emergency Services, in response to attorney questioning, during a trial in which Michael Swango, MD was suspected in 60 murders and convicted of three.

“We got many thousands of public health complaints last year. Only 5,200 were about physicians.” Jo Ann Uchida, State of Hawaii Professional Regulation Department

“I cannot think of any other industry where honesty is an option.” Susan Sheridan, President, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS)

“Some nurses are pretty bright, but most of them are not. Around here we don’t have time to sort it all out. We just call them all Band Aid Bunnies and let it go at that.” Attributed to a House Resident, Jewish Hospital, Louisville

And finally, we once kinda borrowed this note from the surgical lounge at Doctors’ Hospital in San Diego.  We surmise it must have held some measure of educational significance, displayed as it was behind glass in an elegant mahogany frame.

Master these and we’ll go on to the next twelve:

  1. One of us is worth many of them. No patient is worth hurting yourself.
  2. Always stick to what you do best. Or be very, very good at faking it.
  3. It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you can justify it to in-house counsel.
  4. You can do everything right and the fool can still die.
  5. You can do lots of things wrong and the patient might live anyway.
  6. Uncommon symptoms of common diseases are far more common than uncommon diseases. (Also known as Intern Mantra #4)
  7. Better-looking patients get better-looking care. Tell people to deal with it.
  8. Refrain from giving the lecture, “Suicide: How to get it right.”
  9. Don’t give in to pharmaceutical bribery without a fight.
  10. A bloody surgeon is a happy surgeon. Leave us alone.
  11. Other peoples’ pain builds character.
  12. Should the patient opt to walk away, he first must sign out A.M.A.


Have a terrific weekend readers, and thank you for buying our books. We think they happen to save lives, with maybe a smidgeon of entertainment along the way.



2 thoughts on “Is It Sunday? Must be Time for Physician Phunnies!

  1. Vic Nicholls says:

    I did that out of an ER, walked out bleeding. Twice. First time I cleaned it up, bandaged myself and left. Alone. Second time the nurse saw me dripping blood. I got patched up and then left. 🙂

    Safer at home.

    • Hey Vic –

      When I was in high school my best friend was a retired doctor named Les Miller who lived next door. One time a friend of mine was in the local hospital and I asked Les if he wanted to come along for a ride. I have never, ever forgot what this former UCLA surgeon said to me, back when I was 17 years old:

      “I don’t go to the hospital when I’m sick. Why on earth would I go when I’m well?”

      Words from the wise.

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