Best jokes/shtick with patients?

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  • Avatar JK 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 138
    Joined: 01/09/2016

    I also use the “doesn’t hurt me at all” bit with local anesthesia. Seems to lighten the mood.


    A few others:

    -When they come with family. I usually shake the patient’s hand and then say something like, “I see you brought your body guard to make sure I’m on my best behavior.” The patient and family member/friend always seem to get a chuckle.

    -When discussing a follow-up appointment date, I either say:

    “12 months or 12000 miles”

    “12 months or 1 year, whichever comes sooner.” It usually takes them a few seconds to get that one and then they start laughing.

    -If they develop something that is likely due to age, I usually say, “It’s a sign you’re getting younger.”

    -If it’s something that tends to run in families, I usually say, “It’s one other thing you can thank your parents for.”



    #149815 Reply
    Avatar AlexxT 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 897
    Joined: 01/13/2016
    “12 months or 1 year, whichever comes sooner.” It usually takes them a few seconds to get that one and then they start laughing.

    Click to expand…

    When they ask me if some useless remedy will improve their surgical scar, I tell them that if they use it, the scar will be better in 6 months, but if they don’t, it will take half a year.

    #149819 Reply
    ENT Doc ENT Doc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 3353
    Joined: 01/14/2017

    This is a rare situation, but I typically wait for the patient to loosen up by saying “can you see my brain?” (smirking) when looking in one ear. Then I start reporting on what’s on the opposite wall while looking in.

    #149836 Reply
    Avatar Gas_Doc 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 203
    Joined: 01/09/2016
    Splash Refinancing Bonus

    My running joke in preop before the patient goes back to surgery that gets a laugh/smile about 75% of time:

    Me: “How was breakfast this morning?”

    Patient: “I didn’t have any breakfast” (with a look of confusion, patient thinks to himself “was I actually allowed to eat this morning)

    Me: “that’s the right answer”

    Commence laughter

    #149845 Reply
    Avatar sleepysurf 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 5
    Joined: 08/01/2018

    Before anesthetizing an anxious patient, I’ll sometimes say “No worries… I don’t get paid for putting you to sleep… only for waking you up!”

    Alternatively, I might say… “No worries.  I just watched the YouTube video on how to do this!”

    Of course, this all depends upon the patient and procedure.

    #149916 Reply
    legobikes legobikes 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 225
    Joined: 05/25/2017

    About 80% of the time three- and four-year olds, mostly boys, will point to their stomach when I ask them where is their heart. Then I say, “well, I guess that is the way to a man’s heart.”

    #149924 Reply
    jfoxcpacfp jfoxcpacfp 
    Status: Financial Advisor, Accountant, Small Business Owner
    Posts: 7794
    Joined: 01/09/2016
    Alternatively, I might say… “No worries.  I just watched the YouTube video on how to do this!”

    Click to expand…

    ok, that got a LOL

    Johanna Fox Turner, CPA, CFP, Fox Wealth Mgmt & Fox CPAs ~ ~ [email protected]

    #149952 Reply
    Avatar radonc23 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 26
    Joined: 03/07/2018

    Rad Onc doesn’t lead to much hilarity ensuing, but..

    DRE for prostate cancer staging:

    When they seem dismayed – “Yeah, you think I like this? It’s the worst part of my job.” Or “You think when I dreamed of becoming a doctor, this is what I had in mind.”

    For the real “manly” guys- “Worry if you feel two hands on your shoulder”

    During on treatment visits when the patient is a man and the spouse is with them, when the visit is over- “Take him home … and be nice to him.” Always gets a giggle.

    When a patient is following up and returned to normal weight and we are doing ROS … poke him in the stomach and say “Looks like we’re eating alright”

    #149966 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp
    Avatar ITEngineer 
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 307
    Joined: 05/09/2017

    For kid #2 – Apparently the 4 doctors that were supposed to do the delivery were unavailable (reasons unknown to this day, but this was over a decade ago)

    In between contractions, my wife made it clear to me that she was not happy having a random doctor do the delivery.

    When the doctor arrived, he made some professional small talk (while doing what doctors do with a woman in labor) then at one point asked “What are you going to name him?”

    My wife responded that we hadn’t decided yet. Without skipping a beat “So you’re going to name him after me, right?”  😉

    It was the perfect ice breaker.

    #149967 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp
    squaredroot squaredroot 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 24
    Joined: 07/11/2017
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    A couple here as well:


    While doing MSK Ultrasound i.e. on shoulder:


    Me: “and there we can see the little heartbeat…” and also “I  don’t really know what I’m looking at here, I just stayed at a Holliday inn express”.


    Me: “You’ve got lumbosacral plexopathy mostly affecting upper trunk” – That’s the fancy words so you believe me I’m a real doctor”


    Another time when they tell me I’m too young:


    Me: ” I’m actually 75; I just age very well” or ” I just work as a doctor part time in between my science projects”

    "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation" - HDT

    #149974 Reply
    Avatar burritos 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 433
    Joined: 04/23/2018

    As I was doing a pelvic on a lady, she asked me how I liked her “lovejar”?

    #149976 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 180
    Joined: 01/02/2018

    I tried the “doesn’t hurt me at all” bit before an eye injection once…  yeah… they don’t seem to find it as funny when they’re about to get a needle in the eye.

    #149978 Reply
    FunkDoc83 FunkDoc83 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 198
    Joined: 04/12/2018

    My fallback CPA witticism (ok, a contradiction in terms) is:

    “There are 3 kinds of CPAs. Those who can count and those who can’t.”

    More doctor 1-liners please – I want to see more! You, too, @jk!

    Click to expand…

    Jfox that made me LOL.  My favorite one so far, probably because I’m used to all the usual doctor one liners!

    #149979 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp
    Avatar Brains428 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 309
    Joined: 11/09/2017

    So, I mostly speak to other physicians. When asked by a lower level resident if I could take a look at a couple images on a belly MRI, I said, “Which 2 images (there are usually 2K or so images)?” They were sort of dumb founded.

    I still helped the person out. Sometimes clinicians forget that ordering a scan is more involved than simply putting in the order and waiting for the result.

    #150024 Reply
    Avatar RadDoc6876 
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 80
    Joined: 03/25/2016

    Patient: “Have you ever done this procedure before?”

    Me: “No, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express last night!”

    #150027 Reply
    Liked by Matas

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