Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

September 6, 2000 | Volume 1, Issue 7

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Patient Deemed Poor Historian

Unable to identify five causes of Pelopponesian Wars

PHILADELPHIA, PA—Asthma/COPD sufferer Hank Lee Spencer was found to be an extremely poor historian by a team of admitting house staff late Thursday evening, according to hospital spokesman Gil Heredia.

Dr. Karen Filmer, a junior resident, was one of the first to evaulate Spencer in Franklin Medical Center's Emergency Department.

"He definitely knew a lot about post-Civil War American history, and that was a plus. But when it came down to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, he simply didn't have a clear grasp of the basic principles underlying the important events in those eras."

The Parthenon

Filmer cited her patient's inability to define at least five causes of the Pelopponesian Wars as indicative of his weakness in this area of World History.

"[Mr. Spencer] seemed to understand that the Periclean age of Athens represented the culture's pinnacle in many respects, but... well, it was like he never even considered that the increasingly aggressive imperialism of the growing empire brought Athens directly at odds with Sparta and the other Greek city-states, leading to a collectively unresolvable tension that erupted in the 5th Century B.C. as the Pelopponesian conflict."

"And the fact of the matter is, a good historian is just going to have to know those kinds of things," added Filmer.

According to a recent review, more than 96% of patients admitted to Franklin are poor historians, a statistic which the hospital hopes to change with plans to distribute copies of Will Durant's "The Story Of Civilization," an 11-volume hardcover boxed set, to all patients upon discharge.

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