Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

June 14, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 1

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Humorous Last Name Impacts Junior Physician’s Credibility

Importance of issue often overlooked, say some

SANTA CRUZ, CA — Dr. Alex Looney, an intern at Costa Del Mar Medical Center, called a press conference today to complain about the incessant snickering which his professional name of "Dr. Looney" has engendered among colleagues, coworkers, and patients.

"The situation has reached the point where I'm really not sleeping", said Looney, 25. "I have seriously considered giving up medicine".

When asked whether this would not be a crazy thing to do, Looney replied: "Is that supposed to be funny, [expletive deleted]?"

The issue of humorous physician last names is one that has largely been overlooked by professional organizations and medical educators, according to Dr. Connie Butkiss of the American Medical Association.

"Look, you've got a population of people who have last names that are, like, maybe borderline funny", said Dr. Butkiss. "Then suddenly you put the word 'Dr.' in front of the name, and everyone thinks it's a scream".

In Europe, the medical profession has been quicker to identify the problem. According to Dr. Lisle Schitt-Liszt, of the Swiss Medical Association, mechanisms have been put in place in Switzerland to prevent "mocking a physician or joking about their name". According to Dr. Schitt-Liszt, "individuals who ignore these rules do so at their own peril".

When asked whether she, personally, posessed some sort of list of individuals who were in deep trouble, Dr. Schitt-Liszt grew enraged and terminated the interview.

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