Welcome to ‘Medical Misadventures’, a collection of medical anecdotes and short stories distilled from my medical experiences, spanning the time from medical school to retirement. Most of these describe medical misadventures of various sorts, some are merely musings on unusual medical encounters. These do not illustrate the inspiring and ennobling moments that highlight great medical careers. They are a collection of the incidents that underscore our frailties as physicians: that have taught me humor, humility and perhaps some humanity. Some are funny, some pathetic, some inspiring and some are simply encounters with unusual patients. All are based on real events, though occasionally details have been changed to protect the innocent, or because my memory has failed.
My motivation for collecting these stories was simple. I started to write them, not to preserve them for posterity, but to entertain my friends. The only serious intent is to amuse but if you find, en passant, a message in some of these anecdotes, I will be delighted.
Recalling these anecdotes has again convinced me that I am saddled with an malicious genie. Perhaps that is true for all physicians. My genie has infinite patience, a malignant sense of humour, and never leaves my back. He goes by many names: impatience, haste, hubris, presumption, inattention, etc. He (and I use the masculine deliberately) is always waiting to pounce, waiting for the moment I least expect and when my defenses are down. My only defense against him is constant vigilance. When my vigilance has faltered the results have been occasionally amusing, often embarrassing, sometimes downright humiliating and always good reason for self-reflection.
Two criteria were followed for selecting these anecdotes. First they had to be true stories, or at least contain a substantial nubbin of truth. Second, each should be unique, a once in a lifetime experience. I hope that my audience gets as much enjoyment from reading them as I have had from their writing.
If you would like your favorite incident to be added to this collection, email a copy to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or post it as a commentary.
Comment and correspondence will be welcomed. Since I am a novice at blogs and web sites you may have to be patient. Thanks to my son, Dean, I hope to get it all running smoothly one day soon.