Dr. Hart To Cardiology - Stat!
In 1989 (were you even born yet, young blog reader?), I got into an ugly car accident that resulted in some broken bones, lots of blood, and for my (then) girlfriend, a lost front tooth. We were lucky to be alive, considering the car was carrying a few 15-lb. weights in the cargo area, which upon impact were sent flying from the back of the station wagon and straight through our windshield, missing our heads by inches.
In the emergency room, I was seen by a plastic surgeon named Dr. Stern. If my life had been set in a sitcom or daytime soap, he’d have appeared at my bedside with a scowl and knitted brows, sternly wagging an index finger at me for having failed to buckle up. A more appropriate name for this physician might have been Dr. Jolly, as he arrived to look upon me with a big smile despite my recently rearranged face. “Looks like ya lost some of your nose! We’re gonna hafta borrow from Peter to pay Paul.”
St. Elizabeth’s administrators wanted to kick me out of the hospital that day because it seemed like I had no health insurance (au contraire!), but later agreed to keep me a day or two in case I needed to get cut open to fix a punctured spleen or something along those lines, having discovered that I had broken ribs. So I got a bed on one of the wards, where the resident assigned was actually named “Dr. Jolly.” A portly fellow, his name seemed apt for about half a second. “Don’t ever become a doctor,” he told me with a grunt and a frown. This was a young physician putting in 36-hour shifts who hated his life. (Who thinks this is a sensible way to deliver medical care?) He gave me lots of Morphine and Demerol to blunt the pain and went off to deal with his next patient in a most un-jolly manner.
When my friend Chowder visited me and heard about Dr. Stern and Dr. Jolly, he told me that he’d heard of a dentist named “Dr. Chew” (Dr. Chu, in all likelihood), and a pulmonologist named Dr. Leung.
One has to believe our vast world contains many more of these synergistic names: podiatrists named Dr. Foote; urologists named Dr. Pees; laryngologists named Dr. Speech. Perhaps in Germany, there is even a proctologist named Dr. Schitz (pronounced “sheets” no doubt), who occasionally comes to the US for proctologic conferences and has his named unfortunately mispronounced.