To become a physician of any sort, individuals go through the most rigorous course work for nearly 11 years, not including doctors who choose a specific specialty. After years of serious training one would think humor is acceptable to reduce the tension and burnout that nearly 50 percent of American physicians suffer from. However, for many, "humorously promoting death" is unacceptable.
In a survey conducted by the Tufts University School of Medicine, 75 percent of doctors have been accused of gallows humor in medicine. Gallows humor is defined as humor that treats serious, frightening or painful subject matter in a light or satirical manner.
Many physicians believe there is a difference between gallows humor and derogatory humor.
"What jokes illustrate about medical society is that doctors and nurses are members of a pluralistic culture that clearly contains within it conflicting beliefs about end-of-life care, specifically hastening death," says author Lewis M. Cohen, MD, of Tufts University School of Medicine, Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts.
Although 30 percent of physicians who have made jokes regarding deaths have been accused of murder or euthanasia, Dr. Cohen believes doctors should not completely rule out joking about deaths. He cites that, according Freud, laughter provides emotional release and jokes reveal more about the societal attitudes of that exact moment and have nothing to do with the person it was directed to.
Here are a few slang terms to be aware of on your next trip to the doctor's office or ER:
Ash Cash: Money received for seining cremation forms
Banana: A person with jaundice
Bury the Hatchet: when a physician accidently leaves a surgical instrument inside a patient
CLL: Complete low life
Code Brown: a patient who lost control of his or her bowels
FLK: a funny looking kid
GPO: Good for parts only
GROLIES: A guardian reader of low intelligence in an ethnic skirt
Handbag Positive: A confused patient, usually an elderly woman who is lying on a hospital bed clutching a handbag
House Red: Blood
JAR Syndrome: Just Ain't Right (for patient's with multiple diseases/issues)
LOBNH: Lights on but nobody is home (an unresponsive patient)
MFC: Measure For Coffin
OAP: Over anxious patient
PRATFO: Patient Reassured And Told to F*** Off
Rudy Baga: Patient with terminal brain injury, persistent vegetative state (play on rutabaga)
SIG: Stroppy ignorant girl
Two Beers: the number of beers every patient involved in an alcohol-related automobile accident claims to have drunk before the accident
UBI: Unexplained beer injury
YOYO: You're on your own