Saturday, March 24, 2007

Best of health care jokes

STOP: Skip this posting and read the one above it! This is like cotton candy compared to real nourishing food above.

Another high risk posting, this of health care-related jokes I have received over the years. This is problematic in that I have discovered that most medicine-related jokes are offensive or demeaning in some way. I do not repeat those -- or even admit whether I find them funny or not! -- and so you have to help me to decide if the remaining ones make the grade.


Hospital regulations require a wheelchair for patients being discharged. However, while working as a student nurse, I found one elderly gentleman -- already dressed and sitting on the bed with a suitcase at his feet -- who insisted he didn't need my help to leave the hospital.

After a chat about rules being rules, he reluctantly let me wheel him to the elevator. On the way down I asked him if his wife was meeting him.

"I don't know," he said. "She's still upstairs in the bathroom changing out of her hospital gown."


A mechanic was removing a cylinder-head from the motor of a Harley motorcycle when he spotted a well-known cardiologist in his shop. The cardiologist was there waiting for the service manager to come take a look at his bike when the mechanic shouted across the garage, "Hey Doc, want to take a look at this?"

The cardiologist, a bit surprised, walked over to where the mechanic was working on the motorcycle. The mechanic straightened up, wiped his hands on a rag and asked, "So Doc, look at this engine. I open its heart, take the valves out, repair any damage, and then put them back in, and when I finish, it works just like new. So how come I make $39,675 a year and you get the really big bucks ($1,695,759) when you and I are doing basically the same work?"

The cardiologist paused, smiled and leaned over, then whispered to the mechanic...''Try doing it with the engine running."


For those of you in a quandary when considering your health insurance options, I offer the following Q and A:

Q. What does HMO stand for?
A. This is actually a variation of the phrase, "HEY MOE." Its roots go back to a concept pioneered by Moe of the Three Stooges, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough in the eye.

Q. I just joined an HMO. How difficult will it be to choose the doctor I want?
A. Just slightly more difficult than choosing your parents. Your insurer will provide you with a book listing all the doctors in the plan. The doctors basically fall into two categories: those who are no longer accepting new patients, and those who will see you but are no longer participating in the plan. But don't worry, the remaining doctor who is still in the plan and accepting new patients has an office just a half-day's drive away.

Q. Do all diagnostic procedures require pre-certification?
A. No. Only those you need.

Q. Can I get coverage for my preexisting conditions?
A. Certainly, as long as they don't require any treatment.

Q. What happens if I want to try alternative forms of medicine?
A. You'll need to find alternative forms of payment.

Q. My pharmacy plan only covers generic drugs, but I need the name brand. I tried the generic medication, but it gave me a stomach ache. What should I do?
A. Poke yourself in the eye.

Q. What if I'm away from home and I get sick?
A. You really shouldn't do that.

Q. I think I need to see a specialist, but my doctor insists he can handle my problem. Can a general practitioner really perform a heart transplant right in his/her office?
A. Hard to say, but considering that all you're risking is the $20 co-payment, there's no harm in giving it a shot.

Q. Will health care be different in the next century?
A. No, but if you call right now, you might get an appointment by then.


The Board of BIDMC, feeling it was time for a shakeup, hired Paul Levy to be the new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the institution of all slackers and bring real fiscal discipline.

On a tour of the facilities, Paul notices a guy leaning on a wall near the staff lounge. The room is full of doctors, nurses and aides and he wants to let them know he means business!

The CEO walks up to the guy and asks, "And how much money do you make a week?" A little surprised, the young fellow looks at him and replies, "I make $300.00 a week. Why?"

Paul, towering over the guy, then hands him $1,200 in cash and screams, "Here's four weeks pay, now GET OUT and don't come back!"

Feeling pretty good about his first firing, a slightly taller Paul looks around the room and asks, "Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-off did here?"

With a sheepish grin, one of the radiologists, mouth full of pepperoni, mutters, "He is the pizza delivery guy from Dominos...."


True menu listing from our cafeteria:

Whole Wheat Pasta w/ Summer Vegetables Deglazed w/ Marsala Whine


Anonymous said...


So you left the last one till last just to see if we were really reading them, huh? (:

Toni Brayer, MD said...

OK, CEO Paul, you asked. None were offensive but they weren't that funny. Maybe being in the biz, I have heard most before, but I find Gary Larsen cartoons more of a chuckle. Thanks for trying and for your great posts. Doc Toni from S.F.

Anonymous said...

Right, anon!

Egad, brutal honesty from Doc Toni!

Emily DeVoto, Ph.D., said...

Re. choosing a doctor through an HMO. This is a joke? Seems like straightforward reality to me...

Oh wait, I spoke with one a couple weeks ago who not only wasn't in the plan, she never had been and didn't have any idea why she was in the book. So there's another category for you.

Richard said...

For your reading pleasure, my favorite medical joke:

A patient walks into a doctor's office with a cucumber crammed into one ear, a bouquet of parseley jammed into his mouth, and surprisingly large carrots hanging from his nostrils. He manages to mumble, "Doc, you gotta help me. I feel awful. What's wrong with me?"

The doctor replied, "You're not eating properly."

Anonymous said...

Excellent! Better than mine, for sure.

Bwana said...

Sheesh, this is getting bad.

The only good thing about all this is that last "joke" posted by Richard, had cucumber, parseley and carrots, and LOTS of CORN!

Anonymous said...

Keep 'em coming please.

What is about nursing staff? They have a great sense of humour. For example, whilst I was in a coma my daughter asked a nurse "what was the result of the brain scan?". The reply was "oh, they couldn't find anything". Yeah, right!