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Medical Slang Compilation

The other day while challenging us with a case in which the patient needed extensive advanced medical care the prof asked "OK, what next?". I responded with "Does the patient have medical insurance?" And the professor joked that first on the TO DO list is a "wallet biopsy". We laughed. It is necessary to assess people's ability to pay for treatments, but too painful to use such terms with a patient. But at that point I decided that I need to begin collecting medical slang, not jargon but the most offensive and borderline slang that I hear. I have always been interested in language.

So tonight I was working on my homework assignment for clinic synthesis, and trying to find the abbreviations for a few things, when I ran across the wikipedia page listing medical slang. I have pilfered the entire contents of the wiki page, and started adding to it. I think this may be the beginning of something especially perverse. I LOL'd when I saw the definition of the acronym TEETH.



404 moment - The point in a doctor's ward round when medical records cannot be located. Comes from windows error: HTTP 404 error "Not Found".

Agnostication - A substitute for prognostication. Term used to describe the usually vain attempt to answer the question: "How long have I got, doc?"

Appy - a person's appendix or a patient with appendicitis

Ash cash - UK peculiarity of house officers obtaining payment for signing cremation forms

Baby Catcher = Obstetrician

Bagging = Manually helping a patient breathe using an Ambu bag attached to a mask that covers the face

Bash cash - UK peculiarity of Registrars obtaining payment for medical reports on patients who have allegedly been assaulted

Blamestorming - Apportionment of blame after the wrong leg or kidney is removed or some other particularly egregious foul-up.

Blood Suckers/Leeches/Vampires - those who take blood samples, such as laboratory technicians and Phlebotomists

Bounceback - a patient who returns to the emergency department with the same complaints shortly after being released

Bury the Hatchet - accidentally leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient

CNS-QNS - Central Nervous System - Quantity Not Sufficient.

Code Brown - a faecal incontinence emergency. Often used by nurses and medical technicians requesting help cleaning up an unexpected bowel movement.

Code Yellow - a patient who has lost control of his or her bladder

Cooch coach - PT that works on vaginas

CTD - "Circling The Drain" May also mean "Certain To Die"

Cyberchondria = Knowing your diagnosis from searching the internet.

DBI - "Dirt Bag Index", and multiplies the number of tattoos by the number of missing teeth to give an estimate of the number of days since the patient last bathed.

Departure lounge - geriatric ward

DIC - Death Is Coming, Death In Cage - used by veterinarians describing the complications of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation

Digging for Worms - varicose vein surgery

Disco biscuits - refers to the nightclub drug ecstasy. Usage: "The man in cubicle three looks like he's taken one too many disco biscuit". Also means the drug quaaludes.

Doc in a Box - a small health-care center, usually with high staff turnover

Donorcycle - nursing slang for a motorcycle, so named due to the amount of head trauma associated with motorcycle accidents, but less so with the body, making the perfect candidate for organ donation

E-patient = electronic patient, who has access to the internet and is at risk for cyberchrondria. Also may refer to a patient who is empowered, engaged, equipped and enabled. Or to a patient who communicates via the internet, perhaps even doing office visits by skype.

FLK - Funny Looking Kid - used to indicate a child (usually a newborn) whose habitus or overall appearance, while normal in gross anatomy, suggests a need further medical investigation for congenital and genetic anomalies. "Funny", in this sense, means strange or unusual, not laughable.

Foley - a catheter used to drain the bladder of urine

Freud Squad - the psychiatry department

FTD - Fixin' to Die

Gas Passer - an anesthesiologist (also Gasser, Gas Man or Gaswallah)

GI Rounds - medical staff taking a break to eat lunch/dinner

GOMER - "get out of my emergency room" - a patient, usually poor or elderly, in the emergency room with a chronic, non-emergency condition. The name was popularized by Samuel Shem in his novel The House of God.

GLM - good looking mum

GPO - "Good for Parts Only

GROLIES - Guardian Reader Of Low Intelligence in Ethnic Skirt.

Handbag positive - confused patient (usually elderly lady) lying on hospital bed clutching handbag

Hasselhoff - a term for any patient who shows up in the emergency room with an injury for which there is a bizarre explanation. Original Source: Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff, who hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. The broken glass severed four tendons and an artery in his right arm.

LOBNH - ("Lights On But Nobody Home) or the impressively bogus

LOL - little old lady

LOM - little old man

M & Ms - mortality and morbidity conferences where doctors and other health-care professionals discuss mistakes and patient deaths

NAD - Not Actually Done

NFN - "Normal For Norfolk", (a rural English county stereotypically associated with inbreeding.)

O-sign - A patient is "giving the O-sign" who is is very sick, lying with his mouth open. This is followed by the Q-sign - when the tongue hangs out of the mouth - when the patient becomes terminal.

Oligoneuronal - stupid, not smart

PAFO - "Pissed And Fell Over"

PFO - see PAFO

Pumpkin positive = Describing a person with a brain so tiny that a penlight shone into their mouth will make their empty head gleam like a Halloween pumpkin.

Q-sign - see O-Sign

Rear Admiral - a proctologist

Rheumaholiday - rheumatology (considered by hard-pressed juniors to be a less busy department)

Rule of Five - If more than five of the patient's orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance of survival.

Scutwork - Menial and tedious work, may be medically related, but the medical personnel resent doing it

Slasher - Surgeon

Shotgunning - Ordering a wide variety of tests in the hope that one will show what's wrong with a patient

Stat! = Right now, need results immediately, get it done!

Sunny side up - A baby born face up

Testiculation - Description of a gesture typically used by hospital consultant "when holding forth on subject on which he or she has little knowledge". Gesture is of an upturned hand with outstretched fingers pointed upwards, clutching an invisible pair of testicles.

TEETH - Tried everything else; Try homeopathy.

Tox Screen - Testing the blood for the level and type of drugs in a patient's system

TTFO - Told To Fuck Off.

TTR - Tea Time Review

UBI - "Unexplained Beer Injury"

Wallet biopsy - To check a patient's insurance and financial status before deciding on testing and treatments

Woolworth's Test - If you can imagine patient shopping in Woolworth's, it's safe to give a general anaesthetic.

Zebra = A very uncommon diagnosis or disease. Doctors in training are told that when you hear hooves, think of a horse, and when you are not sure of a diagnosis, treat for what is most likely while waiting for more information.

SOURCES
classes and clinic discussions
WFR and CPR classes from when I was a guide
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_slang
The Oregonian

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