Daily Archives: December 29, 2009

Hospitals have great soundtracks.

So I’ve got this friend who’s a doctor. A real, honest-to-Allah doctor. She says things like “I’m on call” or “I was doing a procedure” or “I’m a doctor” and I’m like Fuck yes! My friend is a motherfucking doctor!
And while it has taken her approximately 93 years of formal education to reach this Important Milestone, I realized the other day that my personal Medical Knowledge ain’t too shabby, either.
I present to you:

Things I’ve Learned From Watching Doctor Shows On TV And A Few Doctor Movies
(In no particular order)
* Doctors spend many hours looking longingly (or wistfully, or forlornly) outside of patient’s rooms without ever actually interacting with the patient or his family. This is an integral part of what I like to refer to as the Doctoring Process.
* It takes a lot – and I mean a lot – for a doctor to be fired, or even formally reprimanded. I mean, the nurses routinely kill innumerable patients out of compassion; thus, a doctor must ritually slaughter multiple people before the Chief of Medicine (it’s always a Chief of Medicine, never the police) intervenes.
* Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation as taught in Red Cross first aid classes is wrong. Instead, you don’t need to have any sort of leverage over the person in cardiac arrest. Oh, and it’s totally fine to bend your elbows with each compression. And if that doesn’t work, intra-cardiac epinephrine (see: liquid crack cocaine) will always, always bring the patient back – but only after she has experienced an extremely vivid, hallucinatory flashback to an Important Moment in her childhood.
* All doctors in all hospitals are devastatingly handsome or tragically beautiful. These handsome and/or beautiful individuals are supported by other doctors and technicians of average or below-average looks. Significant surgical procedures are awarded to surgeons based on their physical appearance.
* Said devastatingly handsome and tragically beautiful doctors routinely have sexual relations with each other (generally in various locations within the hospital, i.e. “the supply closet” or “the on-call room” or “the bed next to a coma patient”). Remarkably, extremely complicated maps of sexual partners are created without any communication of sexually transmitted infections – unless this is used as a catalyst for beginning/ending a relationship (see: Grey’s Anatomy)
* All great doctors begin with zero (or negative) levels of self-confidence. If you are a new doctor and are confident in your medical decisions, you will immediately kill a patient.
* As a doctor ages, he/she becomes increasingly cranky and/or dependent on alcohol. No exceptions.
* Nurses don’t do shit. It is pointless to learn their names.
* However, when they’re not busy doing nothing, the job of nurses is to illustrate how utterly incompetent the young doctors are (in which case, they know far more than the doctors and regularly perform complex medical procedures on patients, i.e. open heart surgery, in place of a young, frightened doctor).
* Rounds only occur sporadically, when the doctors feel like it, or an interesting case needs to be presented.
* When a patient dies, the best course of action for a doctor to take is to immediately become shit-faced in order to deal with the trauma.
* In order to just avoid a patient’s death altogether, it’s best not to learn the patient’s name or any pertinent information about the patient. Death only occurs after the doctor makes a personal attachment to the patient.
* Doctors only work in three places: teaching hospitals, private clinics that are ridiculously understaffed yet miraculously not overworked (see: the Private Practice clause), or in war-torn nations far, far away
* If a young doctor is the child of another doctor, the parent doctor will always, always have been famous, incredibly gifted, a pioneer in his/her field, and unfaithful to his/her spouse. Also, young doctors always work in the same hospital as their parent doctor.
* Doctors can basically do their residencies wherever the hell they want, unless being placed in an undesirable location is more interesting.
* Contrary to the general public’s belief in “specialties,” doctors are trained in all aspects of medicine, i.e. dermatologists can perform lung transplants and gastroenterologists can deliver babies)
* Medical procedures that are generally performed in hospitals are also easily adaptable to being performed “in the field.” This includes, but is not limited to: setting broken limbs, delivering babies, intubation and drilling burr holes in a patient’s skull to alleviate intracranial pressure (see: the Grey’s Anatomy).
* Any lay person can be easily “talked through” any of these medical procedures: setting broken limbs, delivering babies, intubation using a standard Bic pen and Swiss Army knife (don’t forget to hold it under your Zippo for a few minutes to sterilize it!) and drilling burr holes in a patient’s skull (clean your drill bits afterwards!)
* The average wait time for an organ transplant is roughly 27 minutes.
* CPR is only effective at restoring the heart’s pumping function after the doctor has tearfully given up and ever-so-slowly looks at the clock to call Time of Death. As the doctor opens his or her mouth to speak, the heart will resume beating, at a normal rhythm.

Please note that this list is certainly not comprehensive by any means. I recommend you view episodes of ER, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs, Three Rivers, Chicago Hope, Mercy and Trauma to learn more.
Or, you know, go to fucking medical school.