Some Funny Stories From the Trenches

I read with a smile the post by Dr. Sajid Surve about the lighter side of medicine. It reminded me of some funny things that happened to me as a student and resident. I thought I would share these silly stories in the hopes of bringing someone a chuckle:

1. On one of my surgery rotations with an orthopedic surgeon specializing in shoulder surgery, I was scrubbed in as the first assist. The case was going well. I was holding the hand and following commands well such as “internally rotate” or “externally rotate”. Everything was going well until he said “drop the arm” — I dropped the sterile arm and the hand fell to the floor! A few expletives later, I apologized and he said “You really should learn the difference between the hand, forearm, and arm!”

Finger2. On a trauma surgery rotation we were responsible for all trauma that came to the ER. We typically did a trauma physical exam while the trauma team cut off the patient’s clothes and rolled the patient. The intern was usually the lucky one that got to do the rectal exam. After doing the rectal we were supposed to describe our findings such as “no gross blood. normal sized prostate.” One early morning at a trauma I did the rectal exam on what I thought was a male patient and yelled “no gross blood. normal sized prostate.” Then the trauma nurses informed me that it was a female patient!

3. On my first day at OB/GYN I was assigned to labor and delivery. I had not prepared that well for the rotation. But I was lucky enough to have an attending that let me delivery my first baby. Unfortunately, he played a prank on me. During the labor, he asked me to put my hands out under the patient to catch the baby. There was no head showing or anything but he said that if I put my hands out there I would definitely catch something. A few minutes later I caught a bunch of poop in my hands! After that I found out that it is a common thing for women to have bowel movements during labor. Unfortunately I learned the hard way!

  • Thanks so much for posting these stories! Moments like these are what keep us going during stressful times.

  • Attending a code one night the cardiac surgeon re-cracked the patients chest and began manual massage of the heart. He wanted to try giving an intra-pericardial injection of dexamethsone. I drew up the dose with a 18g 1.5″ needle attached and handed it to the bedside nurse. Trying to catch my possible error the nurse looks at the surgeon and asks, “Doc, you want an intracardiac needle right.” The docs response was, “Well, I think I am close enough to the heart right now so there is no need for a 6 inch needle.”

  • taha

    what is going on
    i am student in medicine collage ,in fourth class it is the firt class to teach obstetric and gynecology i am afraid to do the same thinks
    thanks alot for your sentences i waana thank u


Dr. JC is a medical doctor who has a passion for health promotion and education.

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