Sunday, August 29, 2010

With Health Reform, A Little Humor is a Dangerous Thing

In Washington, there are still way too many people who cannot get over how important they are. And do you want to know why they think they’re important? Because they make policy! To the rest of America, making policy is a form of intellectual masturbation; To Washingtonians, it is productive work. They love to make policy. They can come up with a policy on anything, including the legal minimum size of the hole in Swiss cheese.

Dave Barry, Hits below the Beltway: a Vicious and Unprovoked Attack on Our most Cherished Political Institutions, Random House, 2001

We live in an age of extremism. As those on the far left might say, “Extremism in defense of social justice is no laughing matter.” Or, as Barry Goldwater actually said, “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.”

Be careful about extremes. As politicians say in arid Arizona when the creeks run dry, "Don't jump from one ex-stream to another."

But fear not about extremes of government. Abraham Lincoln observed, "No administration,by any extreme of wickedness or folly, can very seriously injure the government in the short space of four years." Maybe not, but when you spread it out over ten years, as Obama has done with health reform, there is cause for alarm.

Even with these things said, I should note the following. Health policy is a serious matter. Policy wonks are deadly serious people. Doctors take their profession seriously. Patients go to doctors with serious concerns. And as every serious politician knows who wants to make his mark on history knows, health reform is much too serious to be entrusted to doctors.

The two lists I am about to share with you, therefore, are dangerous. Why? Because they are full of puns, the lowest form of humor.

One, I am about to print a series of doctor puns on health reform.

Don’t blame me. Blame the doctor who sent them to me.

• Allergists voted to scratch it.

• Dermatologists advised the government not to make any rash moves.

• Gastroenterologists had a gut feeling about it.

• Neurologists thought the Administration had a lot of nerve.

• Obstetricians felt they were all laboring under a misconception.

• Ophthalmologists considered the idea shortsighted.

• Pathologists yelled, "Over my dead body!"

• Pediatricians said, "Oh, Grow up! "

• Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness.

• Radiologists could see right through it.

• Surgeons decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.

• The Internists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow.

• Plastic Surgeons said, we don't want to lose face.

• Podiatrists thought it was a step forward,

• Urologists said the whole idea was as painful as passing a kidney stone.

• Orthopedists said the idea was broken and cast aside.

• Anesthesiologists thought the whole idea was a gas.

• Cardiologists didn't have the heart to say no.

• Proctologists were neutral, leaving the entire decision up to the "a-- holes" in Washington.
Two, I am about to reprint a previous blog of mine containing puns on why we should take old doctors seriously because they never diee.

• Old Internists never die, they just lose their differentials.

• Old Family Physicians never die, they just keep it in the family.

• Old Orthopedic Surgeons never die, they’re just get cast aside.

• Old Cardiologists never die, they just lose heart.

• Old Heart Surgeons never die, they just get bypassed.

• Old Urologists never die, they just spring a leak.

• Old Pathologists never die, they just get disembodied.

• Old Anatomists never die, they just become disorganized.

• Old Endocrinologists never die, they just make their Last Gland Stand.

• Old Hospitalists never die, they just walk down their last corridor.

• Old Pulmonologists never die, they just breathe their last.

• Old Fertility Experts never die, they just breed their last.

• Old Obstetricians never die, they just can’t deliver anymore.

• Old Surgeons never die, they just can’t cut it anymore.

• Old Plastic Surgeons never die, they just do a final life-suction.

• Old Gastroenterologists never die, they just disappear up their own fundamental aperture.

• Old Neurologists never die, they just lose their nerve.

• Old Psychiatrists never die, they just lose their minds.

• Old Physiatrists never die, they just can’t rehab themselves anymore.

• Old Radiologists never die, they just lose their images.

• Old Dermatologists never die, they just shed their skins.

• Old Ophthalmologists never die, they just make spectacles of themselves.

• Old Allergists never die, their immune systems reject them.

• Old Nephrologists never die, their machines fail and they lose their metabolic balance.

• Old Physician Executives never die, they just cross the Great Divide to the Other Side.


I close with this little ditty.
Let not those onthe far left deride,
let not those on the far right divide,
but let voters in the center decide,
aided by a little humor on the side.


Michael Kirsch, M.D. said...

We colonoscopists see no light at the end of the tunnel.

Richard L. Reece, MD said...

When does a colonoscopist see at the end of the tunnel?

What does he see an open-ended federal funnel?

Total darkness,

government porkness,

Or socialism at the end of a chunnel?

Flat Abs said...

In my point of view humor is a great thing as it reduces the human tension. Then it is unbelievable that this can also be happen.