Monday, January 8, 2024


Dr. Hurricane was an attending where I trained.

He was one of these people who lived at warp speed. While he was a good teacher, and had an excellent fund of general neurology knowledge, it was all limited by his frenetic manic speaking style of rattling off facts, statistics, and teaching points at an insanely high speed on rounds. In fact, he reminded us of John Moschitta, the star of FedEx commercials in the 1980's.

Yeah, and that was what Dr. Hurricane sounded like on a slow day.

I carried a clipboard and notebook with me on rounds, and would frantically, if unsuccessfully, try to keep up with his teaching points. This only resulted in severe hand cramps and my notebook bursting into flames.

Another resident, Karl, made the immortal comment that "Dr. Hurricane doesn't talk. He has lip fasciculations."

In clinic, patients were terrified of him. Not for him actually being threatening, but for his ability to rapidly give them the entire diagnosis and treatment plan in about 10 seconds, at a speaking frequency far beyond the ability of others to discriminate individual words. Dr. Hurricane blew into the room, Dr. Hurricane blew out of the room, leaving a prescription behind, fluttering gently in the breeze.

And, of course, I (the resident) was left standing there as the patients asked "what did he just say?"

Damned if I knew. Their guess was as good as mine.



Alicia said...

I had never seen that FedEx commercial. Dr. Hurricane sounds like a patients worse nightmare.

Garrett Stasse said...

I’m wondering how in hell you remember that commercial.

Jennette Fulda said...

I get the sense this is supposed to be amusing, but it sounds like a serious problem. If I'm a patient, I need to understand what my doctor is saying. If I can't that's a bad thing.

gloriap said...

Welcome back, Dr. G. We missed you.

It sounds like Dr. Hurricane's vast knowledge was greatly wasted due to his bedside manner.

vegakitty said...

When I did medical transcription I had to transcribe reports for a few of these speed-talkers. My last year working at the hospital, one of the surgeons talked so fast we could never figure out which lab value went to which lab test. So, I asked him to slow it down because of the trouble we were having with the lab sections of his dictations. The result was that he'd talk like an auctioneer who was late for a hot date up until the lab section, then he'd slow down to a reasonable rate of speed. Once he was finished with the labs he'd ramp his speed back up. None of us were all that upset when he was transferred.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like a mental condition, not connecting with human beings. I had a pharmaceutical chemistry professor like that who'd talk so fast, sweat would pour off his face. Always mopping his forehead.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Dr G in the year twenty-twenty four. )Next year it'll be twenty-twenty five.)

Locations of visitors to this page