Monday, February 20, 2012

Medical Sayings

     Over the years, many doctors have heard many aphorisms. The good ones stick with you. I have listed some of them below. And please remember that jokes about medicine are probably part of a doctor's defense mechanism which helps him/her to deal with death on a daily basis.

1) You can always spot a radiologist at a medical convention---they're the ones who glow in the dark.

2) (in answer to a question about a patient): TTT, which means Tough To Tell

3) To hide something from a surgeon, write it in the chart. To hide something from an internist, put a bandage over it.

4) There are only two acceptable reasons for not doing a rectal (a) no rectum, and (b) no finger.

5) Internists know everything but do nothing , surgeons know nothing but do everything , and pathologists know everything and do everything, but by then it's too late to benefit the patient.

6) All Indians walk in a single file---at least the one I saw did.

7) When you hear hoofbeats in Central Part (NYC) don't look for zebras. (We have mounted police.)

8) Neurotics build castles in the air, psychotics live in them, and psychiatrists collect the rent.

9) When two psychiatrists walk past one another, each says "You're fine. How am I?".

10) Most patients get better with time.

11) If you see your doctor for a head cold, he/she  will cure you in seven days. If you don't see your doctor, your cold will last a whole week.

12) Don't waste the patient's time by telling him/her your personal problems.

13) (especially for busy interns): Sleep when you can, go to the bathroom when you can, and eat only when you have the time.

14) NEVER diagnose cancer until the cancer cells are seen by the microscope.

15) When taking a patient's history, double the amount of alcohol and cigarette usage reported, and divide by half the reported frequency of sex and exercise.

16) Always do a pregnancy test on any patient admitted to the hospital, or who presents to the ER.

17) Trust in the Lord, but keep on swimming towards the shore.

18) Doctors prescribe, but God heals.

19) Always try Lithium on any psychotic patient, even if the patient seems schizophrenic.

20) The biggest sin in medicine is to make the same mistake twice.

21) In med school and in the hospital: See one, do one, teach one.

22) Never be the first patient to undergo a new procedure.

23) (from an anesthesiologist) It's easy to put a person to sleep. The challenge is to awaken him/her up  in the same condition.

24) Beware of the patient who comes to the ER with a small suit case that contains toiletries and a second set of underwear.

25) When one doctor tells another to "get a porcelain level" on a patient, he/she is conveying the message that the patient is a "crock".


  1. From a friend: (and think twice about this one) "Beware the doctor who is very good about getting out of trouble".