Thursday, April 18, 2019


Last week I received a letter from a research company, looking for "experts in a specific field."

It asked if I could answer "yes" to any of the following questions:

Monday, April 15, 2019

In Memoriam

My kids have now passed one of the milestones of modern adolescence.

The death of your first car.

The boys aren't having much of an issue with this, but Marie is taking it vary hard. The 4Runner was her baby.

You may remember her adventures with the car, when she outraced her older brothers to be the first with a license. The Toyota was 19 years old, with 265,000 miles, but she loved it. For reasons known only to her she named it "Dakota," which she insisted on spelling "decoda."

And, fittingly, it died with her at the wheel.

Rolling down the freeway on her way to an off-campus class, it suddenly began shaking wildly under her and making a racing noise. Alarmed, she took her foot off the gas and started to pull into the emergency lane. Then there was a loud "BANG!"

The engine stopped, never to turn again. As she came to a halt, Marie noticed a lot of fluid and some pieces of metal in the road behind her.

Since nothing fazes Marie, she calmly called AAA to arrange a tow, only bothering to notify her parents of this change in events when AAA asked where they should haul the car.

The next morning the guy at the car place asked if I could swing by on the way to work. Taking me into the garage, he showed me a jagged hole in the engine block the size of a football. As I marveled at it he handed me a chunk of metal that used to be piston, and pointed out where he'd found it embedded in the undercarriage.

I thought it looked like a femur. Keys are for size comparison.

So, after circling the globe 10.5 times, the car is being donated to charity.

We went to the repair shop before it was towed away to strip it of our personal stuff. This included $5.82 in coins scattered in cup holders, seat cushions, and under floor mats.

Marie carefully pried the 4Runner nameplate off the back, and it's now hanging in her bedroom, next to the hunk of piston.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

I'd have to agree

I'd just finished doing an EMG/NCV on a patient.

Dr. Grumpy: "I hope that wasn't too bad."

Mr. Needle: "Nah, it went fine."

Dr. Grumpy: "Good."

Mr. Needle: "Yesterday they stuck a camera up my dick. That was much worse."

Monday, April 8, 2019

Seen in a chart.

If this MRI finding is correct, it's a publishable case.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

My readers write

I'd like to thank the person who sent in this allergy list:

"Really? I have more trouble with their teeth and claws myself."

Monday, April 1, 2019

You don't know jack

NOTE: the following is NOT an April Fool's Day joke.

I'd like to thank the Science Marches On Department for sending me a truly remarkable piece of research.

Scheduling in a medical clinic requires talent, skill, and magic. There's only so much time in a day, and a lot of patients who need to be seen. People often portray the front-desk wizards as brainless, but they're far from it. Mary, after 14 years, knows me and my patients. From a few seconds on the phone she can get a good idea of how much time any particular patient will need, how that meshes in with the rest of my schedule, and (based on history) how long I am with any given return.

She also has to figure in how long it take takes me to grab a Diet Coke and drain a previous one between visits.

Any practice faces this issue, so obviously some research goes into improving work flow.

A study out of Miami, Florida recently looked into this important subject to calculate times needed for appointments at a fertility clinic.

Specifically, how long it took for a guy to, uh, shake hands with the milkman.

Yes, they wanted to know. That.

In the study guys were given a donation cup and unnamed porn mag. A stopwatch was started at the time they entered the room. They then took matters into their own hands, and texted "done" to the stopwatch person after the research project had climaxed.

For privacy, the exam room had a curtain. Boy, that's a relief.

Admittedly, it sure beats the idea of having a burly orderly with a timer in there, watching you box the one-eyed champ, but still.

The study makes no mention if the guys were allowed to wash their hands before picking up their phones to text the desk afterwards.

This graph is, by far, the best part of the article. It shows how long a guy takes to let it fly while pumping gas vs. the number of patients seen that day.

Note the blue bars: some guys actually had their ladies in the room during the process, although, under the fertility protocols, they weren't allowed to have physical contact. So the bottom line is that, if someone is watching you polish the banister, it will take longer to finish the job. In fact, the ONLY guy in the study who was unable to successfully finish marching the penguin was one who had his girlfriend in there.

Who could have seen that coming?

You can read the study itself here. It has pictures of the exam room, and a porn mag with a brown paper cover on it.

Thank you SMOD!

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spring break

Taking a few days off for kid stuff. See you next week!

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Musical Gobstopper

For those of you who somehow haven't seen the totally awesome SNL "Bodega Bathroom" musical number, here it is. You're welcome.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

11:52 p.m.

I'm sound asleep when my iPhone rings. It's my call partner, Dr. Cortex.

Dr. Grumpy (mumbling, trying to wake up): "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Dr. Cortex: "Hi, it's Cortex."

Dr. Grumpy: "Why are you calling? Aren't you in the hospital for hip surgery?"

Dr. Cortex: "Yeah. Hey, did you round on my patients today?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes."

Dr. Cortex: "Did you see the guy in alcohol withdrawal in room 6824?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yes, why? I think I ordered all the usual tests."

Dr. Cortex: "Because after I left recovery they put me in the room next to him, and he's screaming nonstop and I can't sleep. He's driving me nuts. I'm going to put you on with his nurse now, so you can order something to sedate him."

Monday, March 18, 2019

Seen in a chart

Monday, March 11, 2019


I'm at the dreaded Wednesday morning neurology meeting at the hospital. My colleague, Dr. Mom, is sitting next to me.

About halfway through the meeting her iPhone rang. She answered it, listened for a few seconds, then said:

“LOOK, Mr.-I-had-a-Bar-Mitzvah-so-now-I-am-a-man, I don’t care how well you did at your Bar Mitzvah, the fact that you forget your lunch at home - again - still makes you an irresponsible moron in my book and you can shut up and go hungry for the day to learn a lesson and if you call me about this again you’re not getting dinner either!”

Then she hung up.

We fist-bumped.

Thursday, March 7, 2019


You know, it's REALLY PATHETIC that 40 years after this public service announcement first ran, we need it now more than we did then.

Get your kids vaccinated. Don't believe the bullshit out there.

Monday, March 4, 2019


School competitions always bring a bunch of paperwork, rules, and forms for parents to sign.

This year they included this:

Thank you, A!

Thursday, February 28, 2019


I'm with a patient when Mary interrupts me. Dr. Unka, a deranged cardiologist in my building, is on the phone. So I apologize to my patient and pick up the line.

Dr. Grumpy: "This is Dr. Grumpy."

Dr. Unka: "Hi, Ibee. You consulted on a hospital patient of mine this morning, Mr. Sah. He's the one who fell and hit his head at home yesterday, and now has a brain hemorrhage?"

Dr. Grumpy: "Yeah, he's in ICU. What's up?"

Dr. Unka: "Well, I was reading your note, and in your dictation it says he slipped on water that was on the floor. I just spoke to his wife, and she's very certain it was iced tea, because he'd just knocked a glass over and was going to get a towel to clean it up when he fell."

Dr. Grumpy: "Um..."

Dr. Unka: "Anyway, I thought it was important you should know, in case you want to amend your dictation."
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