Monday, July 6, 2020

Clinical conundrum

Dr. Grumpy: "Wow, you look great for 94! Well, what can I do for you?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Thank you! My daughter asked me to come see you, she was concerned I had a neck injury.

Dr. Grumpy: "What's going on?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Well, I moved into a new place over the winter. Now that it's summer the air conditioner turns on, and if it blows on the back of my neck it gets cold there and I get a chill down my spine."

Pause. I'm waiting, figuring there has to be more than that.

Dr. Grumpy: "Is there, uh, more than that?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Nope. That's it. My daughter insisted I come in because she thinks I need an MRI of my neck. I think she's nuts."

Dr. Grumpy: "Does, uh, does anything make this better?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "Yeah, I don't sit near vents. If I have to, like in my reading chair, I wear a scarf.

Dr. Grumpy: "Does that work?"

Mrs. Methuselah: "It works fine. I told you. I think my daughter is nuts."

Dr. Grumpy (sets down pen): "I think you can tell your daughter that I said you're fine."

Monday, June 29, 2020

Random pictures

Okay, time to hit the mailbag for stuff you guys have sent in.

First, from the "nudge, nudge, wink, wink, say no more" department:

As Jake and Elwood would say, "Baby clothes... This place has got everything."

In a furniture store ad, one of these things is not like the other: 

"What would you like for the new digs, Mr. Scaramanga?"

In the "it's our name, so let's see if the DMV notices it" file:

And finally, from the "Gee, I'd never have guessed" department:

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Take me home, country roads

Dr. Grumpy: "How was your father's day?"

Mr. Mountaineer: "It was fine, I went back to West Virginia to see my Dad."

Dr. Grumpy: "Was it a good visit?"

Mr. Mountaineer: "Yeah. They live out in the boondocks, and the only restaurant is a Denny's. He wanted to go there for breakfast, so I took him."

Dr. Grumpy: "It's nice you got to spend time with him."

Mr. Mountaineer: "The guy in the booth next to us began filing down his teeth while we were eating.  That's when I realized I was home again."

Monday, June 22, 2020

Seen in a chart

Thursday, June 18, 2020


Dr. Grumpy: "Any other questions?"

Mr. Patient: "Yeah, do you have any idea what this means?"

He took out a small piece of paper with "WANGLES SLAGLON" written on it and held it up.

Dr. Grumpy: "Uh, no. I have no idea what that means."

Mr. Patient: "Neither do I. Okay, doc, see you next month."

He threw the paper in the trash and left.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Department of Redundancy Department

This is on a form I have to fill out to get a patient's migraine drug covered:

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Texting with Frank

As my longtime readers know, texting with Frank is an exercise in tapping keys on the phone while simultaneously slitting my wrists.

Of course, Frank is now in his 3rd year of college. During non-pandemic times he lives in a dorm. He has a job bagging groceries and collecting carts at the store. So you'd think this kind of insanity would wane, right?

Oh, hell no.

The other night I texted to remind him that I'd be picking him up at the store when his shift ended at 8:00. This is what came back:

Like Mary says: "I can always tell when Frank texts you because you suddenly start swearing."

Monday, June 8, 2020


While dealing with the myriad of stuff she does - answering phones, copying insurance cards, scheduling appointments, telling people to put their damn masks on, asking drug reps what samples they have - Mary occasionally isn't able to grab a call as it comes in.

So last week someone left this on her voicemail at 8:34 a.m.:

"My name is Perry Thesia, and I need to get into Dr. Grumpy ASAP! Please call me back! My right arm is numb and tingling and feels weird!"

So Mary was able to grab a moment to return the call at 8:46 a.m., 12 minutes later.

Mary: "Hi, this is Mary at Dr. Grumpy's office, I got your message. We had a cancellation later today, and an opening tomorrow, too at..."

Mr. Thesia: "Oh, never mind. Sorry, just ignore my message. I'm fine now."

Mary: "So you don't need an appointment?"

Mr. Thesia: "No, I must have slept on it funny. It was numb when my alarm went off at 8:30, but I shook it out after calling your office and it's fine now."

Monday, June 1, 2020

Phone calls

I'm with a patient when Mary knocks on the door. My call partner, Dr. Nerve, is on the phone for me.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Grumpy, what's up?"

Dr. Nerve: "Hi, do you know that new guy, the one who's doing locum tenens for Dr. Outforbacksurgery?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I've heard the name, but don't know much else. It's not like we've ever shared call with that practice."

Dr. Nerve: "Are we covering his hospital patients this weekend?"

Dr. Grumpy: "I'm pretty sure he doesn't even have hospital privileges, but let me check the system... no he doesn't have any privileges."

Dr. Nerve: "I know he doesn't have privileges. I'd already checked."

Dr. Grumpy: "Then there's no way he's going to have patients, either. So why are you asking me if we'd be covering for him?"

Dr. Nerve: "I'm trying to be thorough."

Thursday, May 28, 2020


To try and stay afloat busy during the pandemic, I've been doing more market research surveys. As usual, these have some interesting questions.

This example is from the "I failed geography" department:

Next up is this one, apparently hoping that I'm a good guesser:

This one, I can only assume, was written by a person practicing the Jedi mind-trick:

The next question apparently wanted to see how much I could nitpick, or be indecisive, or have a fetish for capitalization:

And last was this, from the "so what happens if I do?" department:

For the record, nothing happened. It was actually kind of disappointing.

Sunday, May 24, 2020


For all of its pros and cons, this, to me, is the best part of the internet.

It brings me stuff it had never occurred to me was out there, and that I'd never have heard otherwise.

Thank you, SMOD!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

My readers write

My colleague, Dr. O, writes:

"I’m in the breakfast line at the hospital cafeteria, because today is the one day of the week they offer the decent ham and cheese scramble. But the line is being held up by this person who is leaning over the sneeze guard, mask open, near the pre-made croissants (which thankfully are wrapped). He’s complaining to the staff.

What COULD be the problem? Did he find a hair in something? Was something raw? Was he concerned that his sausage came from a Tyson plant??

Fuck no. This guy was complaining that there was a typo on the menu. And spent ten minutes pointing this out. Being a psychiatrist I was terrified this was going to be a consult before I could have my morning Coke."

Monday, May 18, 2020

Seen in charts

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Side hustle

Annie: “Dr. Grumpy’s office, this is Annie.”

Mrs. Grave: “Hi, how much does Dr. Grumpy charge to do public speaking?”

Annie: “Um, I’d have to check with him, I’m not sure he does that. Is this for support group? He does those on occasion, but doesn’t charge.”

Mrs. Grave: “No, it’s for a funeral.”

Annie: “Excuse me?”

Mrs. Grave: “It’s for my grandfather’s graveside memorial service. My mom asked me to find someone to conduct it, and since grandpa died of a neurological disease I thought maybe a neurologist would be the person to call.”

Annie: “Was he a patient of Dr. Grumpy’s?”

Mrs. Grave: “No. I already called his neurologist, but they told me I should try a member of the clergy, but I like my idea better so am going through the phone book.”

Annie: “Hang on...”

Annie puts her on hold, walks down to my office, pulls me out from a patient visit to make sure I haven’t started some new business sideline she didn’t know about, tries to keep me from breaking into hysterics, walks back to her office.

Annie: “No, he doesn’t do this sort of thing.”

Mrs. Grave: “Do you have any suggestions? I mean, you’d think doctors should be the ones doing this sort of thing, wouldn’t you? I thought they teach this stuff in medical school.”
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