A few years ago, I tried to talk a few colleagues of mine into presenting a session at a live conference entitled something like “Humor in Medical Writing.” They laughed me off. (Insert rimshot).
“What exactly is funny about medical writing?” they asked. “Wouldn’t this session last like, I dunno, 20 seconds or so?”
Instead of grumbling and arguing, I let those crumbums burst my bubble and shelved the idea. Temporarily.
But dammit, there have been too many funny things happening to me lately professionally to simply let it go forever. And so today, we step aside from our usual veiled promotion for CMEpalooza Spring (it’s coming up in about a month for those of you who care, on Wednesday, April 17) so that we can all share a recent (ha ha) #CMEstory.
There were about 3 or 4 I had to choose from, but this is the one I settled on:
A few months ago, I flew down to Florida to oversee the filming of a series of enduring activities. For one of the broadcasts, our faculty – a pair of rheumatology nurse practitioners – were discussing a case involving a new patient that had recently come to one of their practices. Let’s listen in.
“Today’s case involves a 15-year-old male who presented with joint pain of approximately 1 year’s duration that has recently worsened. He is in good general health overall and had no unusual childhood illnesses to speak of.
During our initial exam, the patient noted about an hour of daily morning stiffness in the fingers, elbows, toes, knees, and back. He specifically emphasized decreasing strength and flexibility in his right wrist that prevented him from enjoying certain activities.”
The case went on for another 10 minutes or so as the faculty discussed the possible diagnosis, how they would approach treatment, and so on. When the discussion ended, I went up to them with just one general comment.
Me: “So you do realize which sorts of ‘certain activities’ this patient was talking about having trouble enjoying due to impaired grip strength in his right wrist, don’t you?”
Pause for a second. Here comes a quizzical look.
Two seconds. Trying to figure out what I’m talking about.
Three seconds. Light bulb goes on.
Four seconds. Blushing begins.
Five seconds. Uproarious laughter.
Them: “Oh my God, I hadn’t even thought of that. But you are absolutely right.”
Put that in your differential diagnosis file, people.
So that’s my recent simple (ha ha) #CMEstory. Add yours in the Comment section below. Everyone could use a laugh.
Participation is recommended but totally optional for everyone but Derek (it’s about time he supported one of my ideas).
As long as it’s not another of his hilarious, “You’ll never guess what happened in last week’s Grant Review Committee meeting” anecdotes. I swear if I have to hear one more story about the multi-hued sweater that Gary the medical director wore, I’ll… well, I won’t be happy.