Q Fever! Medical Humor & Satire

January 17, 2001 | Volume 2, Issue 1

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Study: Little Antibiotic Book More User-Friendly Than Infectious Disease Specialist

Physician lacks portability, conciseness

BOSTON, MA—A study published in the American Journal of Internal Medicine today has demonstrated that "the Sanford guide", a popular infectious disease handbook, is more user-friendly than Dr. Saul A. Herskovits, an unpopular infectious disease specialist.

According to study author Martin Milkin, Ph.D., of Harvard University, a majority of busy, practicing physicians and nurses found information obtained from the Sanford guide to be valuable in patient care, whereas Herskovits tended to provide irrelevant, obscure or incorrect information. Herskovits, it was additionally noted, also has "bad" breath.

Little antibiotic book (left)
& Dr. Saul A. Herskovits

Study participant Dr. Annie Edmonds, an intern who works in a busy Boston emergency room, explained to reporters that asking "the simplest question" of Herskovits tended to result in considerable disruption of the work day.

"It's like the guy sees any person-to-person interaction as his big opportunity to launch into a long, drawn-out tirade on the U.S. healthcare system," said Edmonds.

"Jeez, next time I'll just look up the dose in my freakin' Sanford guide," she added.

Portability was also an important issue. Study participants noted that the Sanford manual fits easily into the pocket of a white coat, while Herskovits weighs nearly 200 pounds, making it all but impossible to carry him in a standard sized pocket.

The study was nevertheless criticized by Dr. Henry Henderson, a local infectious disease specialist and long-time colleague of Herskovits.

According to Henderson, "Saul has a lot of clinical experience, and I think you just have to take some of the things he says with a grain of salt."

A study exploring the cost-effectiveness of Dr. Henderson is due to be published next month.

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