Best Descriptive Use of a Non-Medical Word

A few months ago, I went to see a patient with the common “N/V/D” complaint.

After introducing myself, I did the med-school trained thing and asked the patient to tell me, in their own words, what the problem was.

“I have a culinary tract infection” was the answer.

Well, exactly right. I do have a fun job.


  1. Ummmm… we don’t have an antibiotic for that… do we? :)

  2. I once had a patient tell me that she’d had a large tuna removed from her uterus. That’s right, a fibroid tuna.

  3. Do people be vomiking in Texas as well?

  4. Yes, it’s very common here.

  5. Um…this is something that Julia Child warned us about.

  6. hahah!

  7. That story reminds me of one when I was on hospital staff. An elderly couple was trying to find their daughter who was supposedly having some procedure done at the hospital that day. However, the daughter’s name was not to be found in the hospital computer.

    I explained to the couple that their daughter was not shown to be at the hospital. Then I asked the standard questions. Was the daughter registered under a different name? (Some use hyphonated last names.) “No”. Are you sure the procedure is today? “Yes”. Is the procedure being done at a different hospital or possibly at the doctor’s office? “No”.

    I explained that the daughter was not indicated to be at the hospital and suggested they call another family member or the daughter’s doctor for further information. No, they insisted, their daughter IS at this hospital.

    Well, I asked, exactly what procedure is the daughter having? I could call the appropriate department to ask if she was there.

    Their answer: “Autopsy”.

    Fortunately I was not drinking anything liquid at the time because it would have come out through my nose. I suppose the correct answer was ‘biopsy’. I still couldn’t find the daughter.

  8. It’s alright… I once had a referral retina which told me that endoscopy revealed normal retinas in both eyes… clever endoscopist that one!

  9. I had a patient once with severe COPD. I asked if he’d ever been in the hospital or placed on a ‘breathign machine’ before. His wife assured me that the last time he was here, he had to be “incubated” (intubated). :)

  10. Loved these but still think my favorite was a coworker, when I worked newborn nursery, who always documented that the mother had a “staff” infection……

  11. Those staff infections can be nasty!

    I’ll always remember the dear family who sent us photos mounted in a beautiful frame of their baby son who’d had what they lovingly described as total anonymous pulmonary venous drainage…

  12. Just perused your last several posts … don’t know why I haven’t found your blog before now. Excellent stuff! Have blogrolled you.

    Keep on blogging!


  13. I don’t EVEN want to know how you get one of those!


  14. donorcycle says:

    a fibroid tuna! Is that like “fireballs in my eucharist”?

  15. Aren’t staff infections the kind you catch from your EM colleagues in the supply room with the lights off?

  16. I once had a woman write on her disability claim form that she had whelps covering her entire body.

  17. Tee hee. Another one – on an IME the doctor wrote in his report “Patient can jump up and down on one foot while balancing on the window sill.” and I thought, “Well, she certainly isn’t disabled.” :)