Medical mirth

To make the long winter evenings at InsanelyRun fly by, I very unprofessionally started to keep a file that I called Cheap Giggles: turns of phrase from our books that got passed around the office to crack the occasional smile on the face of the hard worked, badly managed staff. Here are some of them …

  • “Difficulty in extracting prostatic fluid experienced by practitioners as well as the undesired infelicitous mode of the massage also led to its ill-starred fate.”
    – an author laments the sad decline of the science of prostate massage
  • “I made an effort, when not taking Nystatin, to correlate my balanitisoutbreaks with sexual contacts and my wife’s vaginal yeast infections.”
    – from a book on prostatitis. Everyone should have a hobby, eh?
  • “I have been on medical leave of absence and was unable to obtain another good set of stained prostatic fluid.”
    – ibid. What a disappointing break it must have been.
  • “Does your bladder problem make you feel depressed?”
    – from a questionnaire in a book on urogynaecology. (our Production Manager’s answer: “no, I’m pissing myself”)
  • “Urine loss during provocation can be significantly decreased by crossing the legs.”
    – ibid.
  • “The loss of anal contents during intimate times can adversely affect a woman’s quality of life.”
    – ibid, chapter on faecal incontinence. I feel an expression featuring negative faecal content and Mr Holmes would be very appropriate at this point.
  • “In geographical terms, Australia is the driest continent on Earth. Regrettably the same cannot be said for the state of its inhabitants.”
    – ibid, chapter on the prevalence of urinary incontinence in Australia
  • “The appearances of internal sphincter can be described as being analogous to the white meat of chicken breast as opposed to the red meat appearance of the external sphincter.”
    – ibid. Never let this man carve your chicken.
  • “Stripping of veins is very stimulating”
    – book on anaesthesia.
  • “… patients who do not like to sit on public toilets and hover instead …”
    – yet another book on incontinence
  • “Antigen-pulsed DCs are capable of stimulating a response simply by injection into naive mice.”
    – book on prostate cancer. Presumably clued-up mice refuse to be injected.
  • “I would suggest that Figure 2 was seen as an alternative to Figure 3, although Figure 5 could perhaps appear in addition to Table 4 which contains additional data not reproduced in that table.”
    – covering letter for a submitted chapter on prostate cancer, just making everything clear.
  • “… the higher incidence of prostate cancer in blacks may partly be due to the lower age of first sexual intercourse and the higher number of sexual partners, both of which are thought to be associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer.”
    – our contribution to racial awareness, from the first edition of a book on prostatic diseases that predated me. We cut it from the second edition.
  • “Many of the authors in this book were pioneers in endoscopic techniques and had to boldly go where no endoscopist had gone before”
    – introduction to book on endoscopy.
  • “Art illustration of best positions for colonic examination”
    – legend for figure in ibid.
  • “Vaginal hysterectomy was successfully performed — it provided relief to the patient and was an exhilarating experience for the operator.”
    – book on hysterectomy
  • “Vaginal hysterectomy is the least invasive route after all, one is using the portal designed by God.”
    – ibid.

Another cheap, easy target form of humour was devising insults based on actual medical terms:

  • You imperforate anus!
  • You capacious vagina!
  • You pancreatic pseudocyst!
  • You incompetent cervix!
  • You pathologic clot!

And finally, some interesting organisations that really do exist (or did, 10 years ago):

  • Erectile Dysfunction Alliance
  • Serious Hazards In Transfusions
  • Superficial Bladder Cancer Working Party
  • The Hospital Infection Society