Why medical school should be funnier


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6 comments

  1. Denyse Richardson

    Well done!! I’ve been in practice for over 20 years and I can attest to the healing property of humour, used appropriately with patients.

  2. Franklin Warsh

    Unfortunately, it’s not the art of telling a joke that’s lost in medicine, but rather taking one. Let’s set aside the risk of even the most bland-seeming joke being taken the wrong way, which happens more easily than you think.

    In the current climate of being on high alert for “micro aggressions” and ever-escalating professional consequences for transgressions – I had a College complaint over tweeting a joke about Game of Thrones (didn’t even curse) – trying to be funny simply isn’t worth the risk.

    Moreover, the funniest people of all time, even the comics that refuse to work “blue”, are natural slackers. Can we honestly expect someone like that to make it into medicine nowadays?

    So by all means give med students calendars of Dad Jokes, comical factoids, and bad puns…but anything else is best left unsaid.

  3. Bonnie Viner

    Patients may be more willing to laugh than doctors think. Generally, we have to find humour wherever and whenever we can or life is too grim. When I visit a friend in LTC we find the silliest things to giggle about. She may be telling a vague story and I’m waiting for her to get to the point. She often doesn’t so we stare at each other and then burst out laughing. We know each other and I know how far I can go but, thank goodness, she can still laugh. It makes her dementia easier for both of us.

  4. David Walker

    And we can give our patients permission to be funny – and we all laugh. I remember an old guy in Emerg in CHF very keen to tell me a joke, a good one too. We all cracked up, he was so delighted. He died later that day. I think his last day was better than it might have been.

  5. Jessica Marta, PMHNP

    Hi. Loved your article. I’m a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner in the US. I recently went on a clowning trip to Costa Rica with Patch Adams, both to learn about humanitarian clowning and to give myself a dose of self-care. (no pun intended). I’m a naturally funny person, so I use humor a lot in my work. I feel it helps my pt’s. recognize me as a fellow human being. But that doesn’t mean they stop respecting me as their provider.

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