This is a scary scenario. Please grab some wine or chocolate or whatever you need, before reading this. It really can happen, even in my lifetime. I have seen the signs.  We all have.

(For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term “noctor” that is used in the following essay, satire or whatever it is: It means “Not Doctor.”  It is not original with Doctor Curmudgeon® I don’t remember where it was first heard, so I cannot give its provenance…my apologies to the originator)

Weary old Doctor Curmudgeon® admitted a patient in the wee hours of the morning to the ICU.

Later that day…

Doctor Curmudgeon® swipes her badge at the door (Yes, it still works).

She enters, sits at a computer to review studies, labs etc. on her patient.

Noctor approaches.

NOCTOR: “What are you doing here?”

DOCTOR CURMUDGEON® stares for a second, glances down to see if her badge is still attached, rubs her eyes, smearing her mascara and says:

“This is my patient.  I am Doctor Curmudgeon®.”

NOCTOR: “Well you have to leave.”


NOCTOR: “I am in charge of this patient.”

Doctor Curmudgeon® rises to her full 5’1″.

“No you’re not.”

NOCTOR: “Yes, I am.”

DOCTOR CURMUDGEON®:  “This is bullshit.”

NOCTOR:  “Don’t swear at me.”

DOCTOR CURMUDGEON®: “I’m not swearing at you, you idiot.  I requested a consult from cardiology, not YOU!”

Noctor whips out cell phone and speaks to someone.

NOCTOR: “You have been reported for verbal abuse and inappropriate behavior.  I am the noctor in charge of the ICU, and I can do that.”

Seeing Doctor Curmudgeon®’s face beginning to turn an explosive red, the noctor adds, “You are allowed to make a social visit.”

Doctor Curmudgeon® gasps.

In an attempt to restrain herself from screeching out all that she wants to say, Doctor Curmudgeon® replies, “But I didn’t bring flowers!”

Noctor looking puzzled…”We don’t allow flowers in ICU.

Doctor Curmudgeon® is a physician-satirist and often hides behind Diane Batshaw Eisman, M.D. FAAFP, a writer/physician.  This column originally appeared on SERMO, the leading global social network for doctors – the virtual doctors’ lounge and the home of medical crowdsourcing.


Check Out:eisman book

Bitter Medicine: A Doctor’s Year in Viet Nam
by Eugene H. Eisman

These are true stories gleaned from the author’s experience as a physician in Vietnam. It is a mixture of humor and pathos.

Dr. Eugene H. Eisman, earned his MD at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He served two years in the army. Six months was served in Pleiku, and six months in Cam Rahn. He now lives in Miami Florida.