A coworker of mine (who shall remain nameless) gave me one of these page-a-day calendars after I sent out several emails (and posted a couple of announcements) with dates that were either far in the future or long past. Unfortunately, since it’s just one he had lying around, the calendar is “Medical Blooper: A Chuckle A Day from the Medical Community” and not at all relevant to me.

Let me tell you that “the Medical Community” is so depressingly not “a chuckle a day” that I feel like catching a cab to the airport, buying a ticket, getting on a plane, catching a cab to “the Medical Community” headquarters and slapping them in the face. I imagine them being in Portland. Here’s an example

Oct 25: During my first month at a new hospital, I put a page out to one of the doctors. A few minutes later, a man sitting next to me looked down at his beeper and asked me, “Isn’t this extension 458? Someone just paged me here.” A little red in the face, I timidly asked him if he was the doctor I had paged. We had a good laugh, and I have become more aware of who is sitting around me before I page someone”

Ok…. huh? Lets try again.

I was preparing an elderly woman for surgery. She was practically deaf and needed hearing aides bilaterally. When they called for her to go to the OR, I asked her to give me the aides, so I could place them with the rest of her belongings. She took them out and joked, “That’s it, I’m off the air!”


It’s not that these couldn’t be a bit humorous if maybe I was witnessing the situation but the retelling requires a little more work. Even the ones that could be funny are ruined by horrible timing. Just because it’s written down doesn’t mean you should add extra words and still expect it to work. For example.

I was reviewing infant care instructions with a new mother. “Clean the umbilical cord with alcohol 3-4 times a day.”
“Would wine be okay to use?” she asked.
That one caught me off guard.

Caught you off guard? The writer of the calendar jokes is talking to me and he’s off guard? Now… I don’t claim to be a humor writer but even I know that punchlines are most effective at the end of the joke. Consider the rewrite.

I was reviewing infant care with a new mother and the instructions were to “Clean the umbilical cord with alcohol 3-4 times a day.” She looked at me and asked “Would it be ok to use wine?”

I’ve decided that this calendar is the work of random people sending in anecdotes that are then sorted by a droid and printed on defenseless calendars. If this is what the medical community has to laugh at, it’s no wonder doctors get depressed.

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