Monday, April 18, 2011

Cheered up by 'The Australian Medical Dictionary'

Subculture. defines it as a cultural subgroup differentiated by…factors that functionally unify the group and act collectively on each member’ [1]. According to this definition, the medical profession’s a subculture – even though it’s not on Wikipedia’s list of subcultures [2]. One factor delineating a subculture’s a unique vocabulary. Medicine has one. Well, two actually. One’s the official one comprising orthodox medical terminology. And the other’s an unofficial one – that’s known to medical practitioners but not to non-medical people. In general its words, phrases and acronyms are irreverent at best, insulting at worst, and non politically correct always. Also funny. Very funny. Here’s a BBC article from 2003 explaining what I mean [3]. Segueing slightly on from there, is a list of words published in the April 2011 issue of Australian Medicine. Titled ‘The Australian Medical Dictionary’, it comprises definitions of medical terms [4]. But these definitions are funny. No – they’re hilarious. To me, anyway. I wish I had the wit to compose definitions like these. After the week I had last week, ‘The Australian Medical Dictionary’ has helped cheer me up. That’s for sure.


Cowan said...

Oooh ooh, let me try!

Bypass - when you're about to travel on the tollway
Contraindication - using the wrong blinker when turning a corner
Midwife - Clark Gable's 3rd marriage
Palsy - good friends
Presenting - what you do on a Birthday
Tachycardia - buying greeting cards at the Reject Shop
Triage - cut it in half and count the rings

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Well done Cowan.
I've already mentioned the difficulty in conversing with my specialist , all is clear now, he is indeed a rheumaholiday