Puella cum Cultello

girl with a knife – the tired ramblings of a female surgeon-in-training

Tag: surgeon humor

Think I’ll skip that ER, thanks

Do you know what they call alternative medicine that works?



Professional relationships

At a medical convention, a male doctor and a female doctor start checking each other out.  The male doctor asks her to dinner and she accepts.

At the restaurant that evening, she excuses herself to wash her hands once they’ve ordered.  The food, drink, and conversation are enjoyable to both.  After the meal, she goes to wash her hands again.

One thing leads to another and they end up in her hotel room.  Just as things are progressing *ahem* nicely, the woman interrupts and says she has to go and wash her hands.  She returns and things really get hot and heavy.  Afterwards, she gets up and to wash her hands once more.

As she enters the room, the male doctor says, “I bet you’re a surgeon.”

She confirms and asks how he figured it out.  “Easy, you’re always washing your hands.”

She then says, “I bet you’re an anesthesiologist.”

He is stunned,  “Wow, how did you guess?”

“Because I didn’t feel a thing.”

The Colorectal Surgeon Song

Workin’ where the sun don’t shine…

Yeah, there’s probably something very wrong with many of us surgeons. :p

I like the librarians

Five surgeons are in the lounge between cases.  They start discussing which patients they think are are best.

The first surgeon says, “I think accountants are the easiest to operate on.  You open them up and everything inside is numbered.”

The second surgeon says, “I think librarians are the best to operate on.  You open them up and everything’s in alphabetical order.

The third surgeon says, “I like to operate on electricians.  You open them up and everything inside is color-coded.”

The fourth surgeon says, “I like engineers.  They always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end.”

The fifth surgeon says, “I like to operate on lawyers.  They’re heartless, spineless, gutless, and their heads and their butts are interchangeable.

Surgeon Humor, episode 2

I still remember the first time I told a joke in the OR.  I was a junior resident, working with one of our most “old school” surgeons, Dr. D.  He’s renowned for being extremely meticulous, and he doesn’t suffer fools gladly.  If you’re operating with him, you have to be prepared.  He’s also very formal – sometimes, I wonder if he even knows any residents’ first names, because he makes it a point to always address us as “Dr. Lastname“.

We were performing an extremely complex case, an operation that Dr. D is known for internationally.  I was positioned to his left and slightly behind him, holding onto a retractor.  My most important tasks during this case were to provide perfect tension for several hours and to stay awake enough to answer any questions he might ask.  I was doing pretty well so far.  Until Dr. D turned very slightly towards me and said in his usual stern tone, “Dr. Girlwithaknife.”

Ah crap, he’s gonna ask me something and probably I won’t know the answer and then I’ll look like an idiot…

“Yes, Dr. D?”

“Do you know any good jokes?”

Uh, think… wait… jokes?!

“Um… yes?”

“Good.  Would you care to share one with us?”

Oh God, think!  Of course, my mind went completely blank.  Well, except for one slightly off-color joke.  Nooooooo!  I can’t tell that one!

“Um, well… ahem… Ah.”  *deep breath*  “Well, you see Dr. D, the only one that’s coming to mind right now is, um, perhaps not appropriate for sharing in mixed company.”

He turned all the way around and looked at me with a raised eyebrow, “I see.”  Then he went back to operating.  Okay…  And then he turned back towards me, “Well?!”

Great.  There was no getting out of this.  I’d have to tell the joke and live with the consequences.  Do or die.  God knew what Dr. D would think of me now… and hopefully no one else would decide that I was somehow harassing them.

“OK…  And if anyone gets offended, I apologize in advance!”

Awesome preface, that only ensured that everyone was looking at me with curiosity.

An elderly couple were discussing their wills.  The husband turned to his wife and said, “My dear, if you were to pass before me, would you mind if I married a beautiful young woman?  It would ensure that my final years would be happy, even without you at my side.”  The wife thought for a few moments.  “Well, darling, I suppose I wouldn’t mind too much.  But you’d have to agree that if you pass first, I could find myself a handsome young man to enjoy my final years with.  After all, 20 goes into 80 much more easily than 80 goes into 20.”

There was slightly a terrifying moment of quiet while everyone processed the punchline.  Then –

“Ahahahahaha!”  Dr. D’s booming laugh filled the room.

And I could finally sigh with relief, hoping that my cheeks would stop burning before the end of the case.

One track mind…

Orthopods have a certain reputation.  This video embodies it.  Hey, at least they’re focused!

Surgeon Humor, episode 1

There’s two major rules to OR humor.

1.  Get as close to “the line” as possible without crossing it.

2.  Never pass up a good opportunity to rag on another surgeon.

Basically, you can let your inner 14 year-old out, to a certain extent.  I definitely have an inner 14 year-old, but I don’t let her out too often.  When I do, it can be surprising to my attendings because, well, I don’t exactly remind anyone of The Todd.

We were doing a laparoscopic case on this particular day.  That involves using small incisions through which we place a camera and longer than normal instruments.  We can watch what we’re doing on a video screen, and the instruments let us reach into some pretty tight corners.  It’s kind of like playing video games but on a living person.

Well, I was driving the camera and Dr. R was having trouble getting into some of the far reaches of this patient.  Every few minutes, he’d sigh in mock frustration, pull out his instrument and grumble to the surgical tech.

“Ugh, can’t reach it.”

“Nope, this one’s not long enough either.”

“Dammit, still can’t get in there.”

Finally, he pulled his instrument out and waved it in front of me.  “See, this is the problem, it’s just not long enough, it’s never long enough!”

I couldn’t hold myself back any longer.

“T.M.I., Dr. R, T.M.I.!” *badum tish*

He fell into a stunned silence, while the surgical tech, anesthesiologist, and I all snickered.  Thankfully, he was still grinning under his mask.  Phew!

Though interestingly enough, he did stop complaining about length after that…