Articles Published in "Stitches, The Journal Of Medical Humor"


Many television shows have been trying to pass medical procedures off as entertainment. NYPD Blue took us right through all the gory details of Detective Sipowicz's prostate operation (ooh, yum!) and Party Of Five was nice enough to invite us into Charlie's multiple radiation treatments for Hodgkin's disease.

Why, all of a sudden, are we being forced into sick rooms, operating tables, and bombarded with a lot of gross stuff? I fear what is to come next, a complete rectal exam of Tool Time's Tim Allen?..….Murphy Brown's Candace Bergen rushed into the operating room for scabies (contagious disorder due to infestation by itch mites)?…Will Barney The Dinosaur go under the knife?

I think this surgery as spectacle thing is nuts! These operations are revolting! Just because the writers of these shows are hitting middle age and undergoing prostate exams, knee, or hip surgery does not mean that they should share them with the rest of the world. We as viewers are not interested in these things. Why must we be brought along on sick tours of unidentifiable bumps, cavities, blotches, and malignancies. I mean if I suddenly had to undergo bunion surgery, I would not start selling tickets!

Television is, in large part, meant for fantasy and escape. Who willingly escapes to and or fantasizes about medical procedures? There are already enough gross-out shows on T.V. now such as E.R. and Chicago Hope without Family Matter's "Urkel" receiving hormone replacement therapy or hooking up an I.V. to Mr. Potato Head.

In the future, I would respectfully request that writers of television shows please stop medically "Probing" their characters and forcing us along for the ride. We have enough sick, gross stuff in our lives already. That that alien autopsy footage alone was enough to freak me out for years!!!

Licensed Improper Health-Care Practitioner

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television, nor do I impersonate one to impress women at bars. I am what is called a licensed improper health-care practitioner. Basically, what I do is stand around at parties and social functions and just have a lot of fun misdiagnosing people's health problems.

During a party I like to shout out tons of unsolicited medical advice: "Hey, better go soak that in some cold water!", "That's infected, I'm afraid you'll have to get it cut off", "Wow, you're coughing up blood, that doesn't sound good", "Really, you have a discolored mole?…I'd just dye the rest of your skin to the color of the mole", "You have a paper cut? Hmmm…any history of paper cuts in your family?"

When real emergencies happen, we licensed improper health-care practitioners do not spring into action. We usually just lay back and observe from a distance. Most doctors just rush in and try to save their patients by putting their hands all over and inside the victim. How obtrusive is that?! When it comes to health care, we improper practitioners believe that no one should be deprived of the right to be left alone.

Since we are not real doctors, we are not allowed to use real medical tools or instruments. But, we do like to carry around commemorative specimen jars which feature the characters from Walt Disney's hit film, "Mulan". We invite you to take them home. Collect all eight!

We practitioners cannot perform Cat-Scans. Instead, we ask people to describe what they think the insides of their brain look like. Answers range from "big, wet, and round" to "kinda clumpy".

So, the next time you find yourself at the scene of an accident and you see someone with a glazed, only half-comprehending look of incompetence, that is an improper health-care practitioner. I shall never forget the time I first told my family what I wanted to do for a living…My mother jumped in the air, clapped her hands, and raved, "My son, the pretend doctor!".

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