I sent a reminder to a client that it was time to visit the eye doctor. He called back to inform me that he would not be coming in because, as he put it, “I have a new obstetrician.”
Sarah Parchert, Hoschton, Georgia
I sent a reminder to a client that it was time to visit the eye doctor. He called back to inform me that he would not be coming in because, as he put it, “I have a new obstetrician.”
Sarah Parchert, Hoschton, Georgia
My doctor took one look at my gut and refused to believe that I work out. So I listed the exercises I do every day: jump to conclusions, climb the walls, drag my heels, push my luck, make mountains out of molehills, bend over backward, run around in circles, put my foot in my mouth, go over the edge, and beat around the bush.
A scientist tells a pharmacist, “Give me some prepared tablets of acetylsalicylic acid.”
“Do you mean aspirin?” asks the pharmacist.
The scientist slaps his forehead. “That’s it!” he says. “I can never remember the name.”
Submitted by R. s., via mail
Colonoscopies are important medical procedures that have saved lives. And yet they’re as popular as, well, a colonoscopy. Here are comments purportedly made by patients to physicians during their procedures.
“Now I know how a Muppet feels!”
“Could you write a note for my wife saying that my head is not up there?”
“Any sign of the trapped miners, chief?”
Source: Dave Barry, in the Miami Herald
My teenage patient’s mother was concerned. “He must have a temperature,” she said. “He hasn’t taken our motorcycle out all day.”
“Let me ask you,” I said. “Do you have a thermometer?”
“No,” she said. “A Kawasaki.”
Craig Ray, Johns Creek, Georgia
A weeping woman bursts into her hypnotherapist’s office and declares, “Doctor, I have been faithful to my husband for 15 years, but yesterday I broke that trust and had an affair! The guilt is killing me. I just want to forget that it ever happened!”
The hypnotherapist shakes his head. “Not again …”
Submitted by Alan lynch, Ithaca, New York
Two campers are hiking in the woods when one is bitten on the rear end by a rattlesnake. “I’ll go into town for a doctor,” the other says. He runs ten miles to a small town and finds the only doctor delivering a baby.
“I can’t leave,” the doctor says. “But here’s what to do. Take a knife, cut a little X where the bite is, suck out the poison and spit it on the ground.”
The guy runs back to his friend, who is in agony. “What did the doctor say?” the victim cries.
“He says you’re gonna die.”
Two doctors and an HMO manager die and line up together at the Pearly Gates. One doctor steps forward and tells St. Peter, “As a pediatric surgeon, I saved hundreds of children.” St. Peter lets him enter.
The next doctor says, “As a psychiatrist, I helped thousands of people live better lives.” St. Peter tells him to go ahead.
The last man says, “I was an HMO manager. I got countless families cost-effective health care.”
St. Peter replies, “You may enter. But,” he adds, “you can only stay for three days. After that, you can go to hell.”
When I stepped on the scale at my doctor’s office, I was surprised to see that I weighed 144 pounds.
“Why don’t you just take off that last four?” I joked to the nurse’s aide as she made a notation on my chart.
A few moments later, my doctor came in and flipped through the chart.
“I see you’ve lost weight,” he said. “You’re down to 14 pounds.”
Rachel Wagner, Bixby, Oklahoma
Three guys are fishing when an angel appears.
The first guy says, “I’ve suffered from back pain for years. Can you help me?” The angel touches the man’s back, and he feels instant relief.
The second guy points to his thick glasses and begs for a cure for his poor eyesight. When the angel tosses the lenses into the lake, the man gains 20/20 vision.
As the angel turns to the third fellow, he instantly recoils and screams, “Don’t touch me! I’m on disability!”
A medical student was told to remove the spleen from a cadaver. After he did, he kept poking around.
“What are you doing?” asked the professor.
The student answered, “I’m looking for the other one.”
—Alexandr Placar, Czech Republic
Phlebotomist: I’m here to draw some blood.
Patient: But I just received blood yesterday.
Phlebotomist: You didn’t think you’d get to keep it, did you?
—Rebecca Shafer, Springfield, Missouri
A doctor sent this note to our medical clinic: “Patient needs a referral for your office from me. I saw her for her ankle and would like you to run over it.”
—M. P., via e-mail
Scene: A call-center operator on the phone with a doctor.
Doctor: If you don’t turn my cell phone back on today, I’ll tell the families of my patients and their lawyers that you are responsible for my patients’ deaths because I couldn’t be reached.
Operator: Sir, if you are expecting your patients to die, perhaps they should switch to a different physician.
Lenny tells the psychiatrist, “Every time I get into bed, I think there’s somebody under it.”
“Come to me three times a week for two years, and I’ll cure your fears,” says the shrink. “And I’ll charge you only $200 a visit.”
Lenny says he’ll think about it. Six months later, he runs into the doctor, who asks why he never came back. “For $200 a visit?” says Lenny. “A bartender cured me for $10.”
“Is that so! How?”
“He told me to cut the legs off the bed.”
After a checkup, a doctor asked his patient, “Is there anything you’d like to discuss?”
“Well,” said the patient, “I was thinking about getting a vasectomy.”
“That’s a big decision. Have you talked it over with your family?”
“Yes, we took a vote … and they’re in favor of it 15 to 2.”
Nobody wants a pain reliever that’s anything less than extra-strength: “Give me the maximum-allowable dosage. Figure out what will kill me, and then back it off a little bit.”
When I went back to the medical lab to have some blood drawn, I was greeted with a battery of questions from the technician.
“Has your address changed?” she asked.
“No,” I answered.
“Your phone number?”
“What about your birthday?”
Imagine my surprise when I went to Tipler Army Medical Center for a heart bypass operation and discovered my surgeon’s name was Dr. Eror.
"What a name for a doctor," I said, not sure whether to laugh or cry.
"Yeah," he agreed. "You can imagine the reaction I got when I was a major."
I just met the coolest gynecologist. He’s an O.B.G.B.Y.O.B.
Mark Twain warned: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.” The same can be said for these English-challenged notes doctors wrote on patient charts:
“The patient is married but sexually active.”
“When … Read More
I overheard two EMT volunteers talking about the time they went to the aid of an elderly man. As one took down his information, the other opened his shirt to attach EKG cables. "Any history of heart trouble?" asked the first … Read More
My husband went to the cardiologist after experiencing symptoms of a heart attack. "I had taken our cat to the vet," he told the nurse, "and while I was there, my chest got tight, and I had trouble breathing. Later, my left … Read More
They’ve just found a gene for shyness. They would have found it earlier, but it was hiding behind a couple of other genes.
My mother has tried her hand at several careers, some even concurrently. Imagine the surprise of both a hospital patient and my mom when the patient awoke after surgery and, upon seeing who her nurse’s aide was, yelled, "What are you … Read More
When a patient was wheeled into our emergency room, I was the nurse on duty. "On a scale of zero to ten," I asked her, "with zero representing no pain and ten representing excruciating pain, what would you say your pain level… Read More
It was time for my dog’s annual checkup. Following the vet’s instructions, I collected a stool sample and dropped it in a plastic container before we left for his office. When we arrived, I handed the sample to the receptionist, who … Read More
When my insurance company refused to pay for my newborn son’s circumcision, I got a letter explaining its logic. Under the procedure "Circumcision" was written "Unable to locate member."
I’d just come home from my sixth medical appointment of the week with one more to go, so I was in a lousy mood when my daughter called. After I recited my woes, my daughter said, "Well, seven doctors is better than one coroner."
My friend is a Botox junkie—she can’t stop getting the injections. But surprisingly, when I reminded her to get her flu shot, she shuddered. "I hate needles," she said. I had a solution: "Just pretend it will make your… Read More
Years of smoking finally caught up with my friend John one morning when he keeled over at work, clutching his heart. He was rushed to a hospital and peppered with questions. "Do you smoke?" asked a paramedic. "No," … Read More
After giving birth, I quit my job. The exit questionnaire asked, “What steps would have prevented you from leaving?” My answer: “Birth control.”
A patient at my daughter’s medical clinic filled out a form. After Name and Address, the next question was "Nearest Relative." She wrote "Walking distance."
My neighbor’s boat has a peculiar name: Innuendo. After failing to divine some deep, hidden meaning, I asked him how he came up with the name. He answered, "My wife works for a proctologist."
Doing rounds, a new nurse couldn’t help overhearing the surgeon yelling, "Typhoid! Tetanus! Measles!" "Why does he keep doing that?" she asked a colleague. "Oh, he likes to call the shots around here."
Last Valentine’s Day, I arrived at the doctor’s office where I work as a receptionist to find a mystery man pacing up and down holding a package. As I got out of the car, he declared warmly, "I have something for you." I excitedly… Read More
A little boy was brought into our emergency room after ingesting part of a plug-in air freshener. After consulting Poison Control and monitoring him, the doctor wrote on his discharge, "Patient doing well. Ready to go home. Smells good… Read More
Following my husband’s physical exam, the doctor delivered some bad news. "Your white blood cells are elevated," he said. "What does that mean?" I asked. Looking concerned, the doctor explained, "Up."
One diagnostic-imaging center claims that its high-tech medical procedures are second to none. The center’s newspaper advertisement proclaimed, CT Colonoscopy: No Scope, No Sedation, No Recovery.
Dr. Smith asks his patient, "Which do you want first, the good news or the bad news?" The patient replies, "Give me the good news." Dr. Smith says, "You’re about to have a disease named after you."
As I was admitted to the hospital prior to a procedure, the clerk asked for my wrist, saying, "I’m going to give you a bracelet." "Has it got rubies and diamonds?" I asked coyly. "No," he said. "But it … Read More
Proofreading an instruction manual for a hospital ventilator, I did a double take when I came across this questionable troubleshooting tip: "If the problem persists, replace patient immediately."
At the dentist’s office for oral surgery, I was handed a couple of forms to fill out. As I signed the first one, I joked with the receptionist: "Does this say that even if you pull my head completely off, I can’t sue you?" "… Read More
Prior to his biopsy, a patient confessed to a fellow nurse just how nervous he was. "Don’t worry," the nurse assured him. "You’re just having a little autopsy."
A harried man runs into his physician’s office. "Doctor! Doctor! My wife’s in labor! But she keeps screaming, ‘Shouldn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t, can’t!’" "Oh, that’s okay," says the doctor. "She’s just having … Read More
A guy suffering from a miserable cold begs his doctor for relief. The doctor prescribes pills. But after a week, the guy’s still sick. So the doctor gives him a shot. But that doesn’t help his condition either. "Okay, this is what I … Read More
As I left my office at the National Cancer Institute, I passed one of our researchers by the front door puffing away on a cigarette. "How can you smoke when you, of all people, know the harm caused by cigarettes?" I asked. He … Read More
When a rich businessman began to choke on a fish bone at a restaurant, a doctor seated at a nearby table sprang up, performed the Heimlich maneuver, and saved his life. "Thank you, thank you!" said the businessman. "Please, I… Read More
One crazy day in our pediatric clinic saw me hand a young patient a urine sample container and tell him to fill it up in the bathroom. A few minutes later, he returned to my nurses station with an empty cup."I didn’t need this after … Read More
Visiting the psych ward, a man asked how doctors decide to institutionalize a patient."Well," the director said, "we fill a bathtub, then offer a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient, and ask him to empty the tub.&… Read More
Our nephew was getting married to a doctor’s daughter. At the wedding reception, the father of the bride stood to read his toast, which he had scribbled on a piece of scrap paper. Several times during his speech, he halted, overcome with … Read More
Desperate for registered nurses, my colleagues and I in hospital administration often share ideas to recruit employees. Out of exasperation, I made a joking plea to two of my colleagues, asking them to send me six nurses from each of their … Read More
One day while at the doctor’s office, the receptionist called me to the desk to update my personal file. Before I had a chance to tell her that all the information she had was still correct, she asked, "Has your birth date changed?&… Read More
After practicing law for several months, I was talking with my brother, John, a doctor. "My work is so exciting," I said. "People come into my office, tell me their problems and pay me for my advice." As older brothers … Read More
Dad’s pager beeped, summoning him to the hospital, where he is an anesthetist. As he raced toward the hospital, a patrol car sped up behind him—lights flashing, siren blaring. So Dad hung his stethoscope out the window to signal that … Read More
Since maternity patients at the small hospital where I work must travel 50 miles to another hospital for the actual delivery, they often check with us first to verify that they are, indeed, in labor. One morning, a pregnant woman walked in… Read More
To confirm her suspicions, my sister needed to purchase a pregnancy test. Since I was going to the pharmacy, she asked me to pick one up. I didn’t stop to think how I appeared to the clerk when I waddled up—nine months pregnant—… Read More
When one of my patients came to me complaining of ear trouble, I looked around for the appropriate instrument with which to examine him. Unable to find it, I buzzed my receptionist and asked, "Have you seen my auroscope?""No… Read More
When my wife was about to have our first baby, we brought a tape recorder to the delivery ward to capture the sounds of the birth, the baby’s first cry and our doctor’s voice saying, "It’s a boy!" or "It’s a girl!" We … Read More
One afternoon in the hospital operating room where I am a nurse, I heard one of our nurse anesthetists trying to put a patient to sleep. "Now I want you to breathe in and out," she intoned. "In and out, slowly in and out.&… Read More
Following a major hurricane, my husband worked long hours clearing the jumble of trees that littered our property. The longer he worked, however, the more painful it became for him to move his right arm.He ignored my pleas to see the doctor… Read More
As an attorney in a major New Mexico law firm, I have many colleagues who work long hours. However, the reputation of one of my partners’ workaholic ways even extended beyond the office. He not only had to leave work early one day because … Read More
While dancing at a party, I tripped and stubbed my toe. Days later, my toe swollen and purple, I went to see a podiatrist. I told him how I hurt myself and admitted to feeling foolish at being so clumsy.After X-raying my toe, the doctor … Read More
A customer walked into my pharmacy asking for a particular nasal spray. "You know, that brand is very addicting," I warned her. "If it’s used for a prolonged period of time, your congestion can come back worse than before, … Read More
The voice-dictation program a physician friend of mine purchased for his computer often misinterpreted words. Once, my friend dictated, "Recommend CAT scan if symptoms persist."The program typed out, "Recommend casket if … Read More
My friend Esther told me about her son’s fifth-grade career day, where the children were asked, "Who knows what a psychiatrist does?" Esther’s son replied, "That’s someone who asks you to lie down on a couch and then blames … Read More
Resting in the hospital after the birth of our third child, I thought I would finally get a chance to finish reading Boris Pasternak’s famous novel, Doctor Zhivago, and had it handy on my bedside table. When the student nurse came in, it … Read More
While on duty as a nurse in the obstetrics department at the hospital, I was checking a young mother-to-be. "Is this your first baby?" I asked her. "Yes," she answered calmly. "Are you having any contractions or … Read More
After the birth of our second child, my husband volunteered to undergo a vasectomy. The morning of his appointment, I could tell he was nervous. Then, as he was about to leave for the doctor’s office, he turned to me and said, "I’m … Read More
Customer-service reps repeat the same tired phrases so often that we can do the job in our sleep. We hear a beep telling us a customer’s on the line, and we’re on. I never knew how this humdrum routine affected us until a co-worker had … Read More
During my uncle’s physical exam, his doctor mentioned that he was slightly overweight. “Do you get any exercise?” the physician asked.
“Well, I used to have an exercise bike in the TV room,” my uncle began.
“Used to!” the doctor said… Read More
As a dental hygienist, I had a family come in one day for cleanings. By the time I was ready for the father, he informed me I had a lot to live up to. His six-year-old daughter kept commenting that a "very smart lady" was cleaning… Read More
Suffering with a herniated disk in his back, my husband told his cousin that a well-respected doctor was treating him. His cousin asked the name of the doctor, and on hearing it, he replied, "I never heard of him—that’s a good … Read More
The contest was simple: Which department in the hospital where I worked as a nurse could create the best Christmas decorations? While they didn’t win first prize, the members of the proctology department did receive high honors with their … Read More
A group of Alaskan housewives had gotten together for morning coffee and, since several of us were pregnant, the talk drifted to babies and doctors. One of the women announced that she was now going to a woman doctor. "At least," … Read More
Seen on a car parked outside a gynecologist’s office: “PUUUSH.”
Carol was pregnant with her first child, and her husband was about to leave on a two-week business trip. When Carol went to her doctor appointment, she had some questions. "My husband wants me to ask you something—" Carol … Read More
During the year that my husband, Bob, was undergoing expensive dental reconstruction, he got to know everyone in the dentist’s office. When a couple of staffers teased him about his garbled speech after he got a mouth-numbing anesthetic, … Read More
Last New Year’s Eve found me in the hospital scheduled for an operation to remove hemorrhoids. So while others donned party hats and sipped champagne, I wore a hospital gown and swigged painkillers. That’s not to say the holiday spirit was … Read More
It had been a long time—seven years to be exact—since my friend Brian had been to see his doctor. So the nurse told him that if he wanted to make an appointment, he would have to be reprocessed as a new patient."Okay,"… Read More
I’m never very comfortable with any kind of physical test or procedure, but when I was referred to a doctor for a breast exam, I agreed to see him. I don’t know the doctor, and he doesn’t know me, I told myself. It is no big deal. On the … Read More
For several years, my job was to answer all viewer phone calls and mail concerning the daytime television soap operas our company produced. One day a woman called wanting medical advice from an actor who portrayed a doctor on one of our … Read More
During a visit with my mother, who was in the hospital, I popped into the cafeteria for breakfast. I set a piece of bread on the moving toaster rack and waited for it to return golden brown. Instead, it got stuck all the way in the back. … Read More
A friend of mine was working as a nurse in a West Australian coastal town when a tourist came into the medical center with a fishhook lodged deep in his hand. Since it was the weekend, my friend had to summon the doctor from home.The … Read More
After I warned the nurse taking blood that it would be very hard to find a vein on me, she said, "Don’t worry. We’ve seen worse. Last year we had a girl come in to get a blood test for her marriage license and we had to stick her six … Read More
On the Friday before Christmas, a group of tuberculosis patients at the VA hospital in Springfield, Missouri, were filing past the fluoroscope for a checkup and the atmosphere was none too cheerful. But with the last patient it changed. … Read More
A client of our optometry business was jubilant after I replaced the scratched, dirty lenses in his eyeglasses with new ones.
“This is great!” he said. “I just gained two hours of daylight.”
Employed as a dental receptionist, I was on duty when an extremely nervous patient came for root-canal surgery. He was brought into the examining room and made comfortable in the reclining dental chair. The dentist then injected a numbing … Read More
Throughout her pregnancy, my sister Joanne insisted that she wanted no medication during labor. When the big day came, though, she wondered if she had made the right decision. Knowing my sister’s stance on drugs, the midwife did everything … Read More
While walking through a Dallas airport, my dentist ran into a group of folks from his hometown. Among them was one of his patients. When he said hello, she gave him a curious look, saying he looked familiar but she could not quite place him… Read More
I was waiting in the office of our lone, overworked doctor when a local repairman, father of seven children, dashed in looking worried and distraught. To the nurse he explained, "My kids are all sick with some kind of bug. I know that … Read More
We brought our newborn son, Adam, to the pediatrician for his first checkup. As he finished, the doctor told us, "You have a cute baby."Smiling, I said, "I bet you say that to all new parents.""No," he replied… Read More
When I was on duty in the maternity ward, one of my patients was a woman who was having her first child. Because of her medical situation, she had to undergo a cesarean procedure. After the operation, I handed her the newborn child and … Read More
A friend living in an isolated Montana mining town suspected that she wasn’t getting the best dental care. Her first trip to a competent dentist in Butte confirmed her suspicions. After a thorough examination the dentist asked but one … Read More
While attending a laser seminar for obstetric and gynecologic surgeons, I found a booth where the doctors were encouraged to practice their laser skills on animal tissues. One young intern used an excellent technique dissecting a membrane… Read More
When an increased patient load began to overwhelm our hospital’s emergency room, we initiated a triage system to ensure that the most critical people were treated first. However, some of the less seriously ill patients occasionally had to … Read More
I was in a department store when I heard on the public-address system that the optical department was offering free ice cream. I headed down the escalator to take advantage of the offer, trying to decide on vanilla or chocolate. I was … Read More
I was hospitalized with an awful sinus infection that caused the entire left side of my face to swell. On the third day, the nurse led me to believe that I was finally recovering when she announced excitedly, "Look, your wrinkles are … Read More
I was having some chest pains, but my cardiologist assured me nothing was wrong. Then I told him I was planning a cruise to Alaska and asked if he had any suggestions for avoiding the discomfort. "Have fun," he said with a … Read More
Our Lamaze class included a tour of the pediatric wing at the hospital. When a new baby was brought into the nursery, all the women tried to guess its weight, but the guy standing next to me was the only male to venture a number. "… Read More
A Catholic priest I once knew went to the hospital to visit patients. Stopping at the nurses station, he carefully looked over the patient roster and jotted down the room number of everyone who had "Cath" written boldly next to … Read More
Students in the adult French class I teach include quite a few health-care professionals. During one class, I was coughing so badly a doctor in the class raised her hand. "If you like, I could give you a prescription for that," … Read More
Ever wonder what medical personnel scribble on those clipboards attached to the foot of the bed? Here are some incredible comments taken from hospital charts: "The patient refused autopsy." "The patient has no previous … Read More
It was an unusually hectic evening at the emergency clinic where I work. The doctor on duty was simultaneously bombarded with questions, given forms to sign, and even asked for his dinner order. I was in the next room, cleaning up a newly … Read More
As an obstetrician, I sometimes see unusual tattoos when working in labor and delivery. One patient had some type of fish tattoo on her abdomen. "That sure is a pretty whale," I commented.With a smile she replied, "It used to… Read More
I was on duty as an emergency-room technician when a father brought in his son, who had poked a tire from one of his toy trucks up his nose. The man was embarrassed, but I assured him this was something kids often do. I quickly removed the … Read More
At the busy dental office where I work, one patient was always late. Once when I called to confirm an appointment, he said, “I’ll be about 15 minutes late. That won’t be a problem, will it?”
“No,” I told him. “We just won’t have time to … Read More
Unfortunately, we humans don’t come equipped with delete buttons for our mouths. My friend and his rock band were playing a concert at the psychiatric hospital where he worked as a musical therapist. The audience was a little too quiet for … Read More
Each new patient at the clinic where I work must fill out a questionnaire asking basic health and personal-history questions. One query that inevitably gets a "No" answer is, "Do you now use or have you ever used recreational… Read More
I hate the idea of going under the knife. So I was very upset when the doctor told me I needed a tonsillectomy. Later, the nurse and I were filling out an admission form. I tried to respond to the questions, but I was so nervous I couldn’t … Read More
I am an oral surgeon, and once I was scheduled to extract four wisdom teeth from Jim, a high-school football player, who had opted to be sedated for the procedure. As the intravenous anesthesia was being administered, I asked Jim how he was… Read More
Sign above the scale in a Mission Hills, Calif., doctor’s office: "Pretend it’s your I.Q."
Doctors are used to getting calls at any hour. One night a man phoned, waking me up. "I’m sorry to bother you so late," he said, "but I think my wife has appendicitis."Still half asleep, I reminded him that I had taken … Read More
Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet—who insisted he didn’… Read More
My wife was in her gynecologist’s busy waiting room when a cell phone rang. A woman answered it, and for the next few minutes, she explained to her caller in intimate detail her symptoms and what she suspected might be wrong. Suddenly… Read More