Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

July 12, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 3

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Savvy Illness Sufferers Intensify Efforts To Stay Well

Hospitalization rates plummet following arrival of new interns

BOSTON, MA—With the arrival of thousands of well-meaning, fresh-faced new medical professionals in the nation's teaching hospitals last week, chronic disease sufferers across the nation are reportedly taking extra care to comply with complex outpatient medication regimens.

To many, this tightening of compliance is directly related to a fear of receiving medical care while the new interns are getting "up and running".

Sydney Palmello,
CHF Sufferer

"Yup, I'm takin' my Lasix, I'm takin my captopril", said Sydney Palmello, a congestive heart-failure sufferer from Lexington, MA. Mr. Palmello, who is well known to local physicians due to his love of salty snack-foods, added "I gotta lay off those Fritos at least 'till September, when the dust settles."

"Lord knows, I'm ready to go when my time comes, but I don't want to check out just because some clown leaves the decimal point out of my digoxin order."

"You know, they're all very cute, with those big, wet, Bambi-eyes", said Miriam O'Connell, of Framingham, MA. "It's just that the similarity to deers and fawns doesn't end there: they've got the whole 'trapped in the headlights' thing going too."

O'Connell, a diabetic, is being extremely careful with her diet and medication regimen. "The last thing I need is to be in the emergency room with diabetic ketoacidosis, with one of those cuties standing over me, flipping through a Washington Manual trying to figure out the insulin-drip formula", she said Tuesday.

Dr. Mark Paulskey, President of the Interns and Residents On-Call Association (IROCA), rejected the notion that medical care obtained in teaching hospitals in July is of lesser quality than that obtained later in the academic year.

"You know, I think it's a matter of trade-offs", said Paulskey. While agreeing that the newly minted MD's are less likely to formulate correct differential diagnoses, or prescribe correct dosages of standard drugs, than other physicians, he noted that "they are way more likely to ask about seat-belts and perform exhaustive family histories during a medical admission than more senior colleagues."

Paulskey's comments were briefly interrupted by the beeping of his shiny new pager.

"You can give... uh... C-c-c-colace?," said Paulskey.

"The dose?...", he continued, flipping feverishly through his Pocket Pharmacopoeia. "Can I get back to you on that?"

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