At present we now have Dr. John Lawrence on the weblog sharing 10 of the craziest issues he experiences in medical faculty.

In case you have but to fulfill Dr. Lawrence who was lately on The HIM & HER Present, he’s the writer of the collection Taking part in Physician and is actually a physician. Within the episode he talks about surviving medical faculty and residency coaching, his finest and scariest moments from working towards for 20 years and his transition to turning into a author. He additionally covers points with right this moment’s medical system, when to take your youngsters to the ER and what it’s like educating.

Lauryn is such a fan of all 3 of the Taking part in Physician books that she simply needed to have Dr. Lawrence on the present.

Set off warning: this publish is just not for the faint of coronary heart! Your knees would possibly buckle, you would possibly really feel faint, you would possibly get the heebie-jeebies, you would possibly lose your urge for food. However you’ll additionally smile, snort and really feel aid after these quick tales.

With out additional ado, let’s welcome Dr. John Lawrence to the weblog.


When folks ask about loopy medical tales, they usually need me to leap proper to eradicating international our bodies from numerous orifices – and maybe I’ll share one such occasion. However first, a couple of tales you may not have heard about within the wacky world of drugs – a mix of the scary, form of gross (for which I apologize) and heroic (not on my half). Listed here are ten that first got here to thoughts:  

Dr. John Lawrence’s 10 Craziest Moments From Med College

OB gone wild.

Regardless of work hours that brazenly mock baby labor legal guidelines, OB rotations had been often enjoyable. You ship infants and regardless of the healthcare crew’s steady battery of assessments, pokes and prods, issues usually go nicely. However when OB circumstances went off the tracks, for no matter cause, your entire crew immediately grew to become superhero targeted on what was actually, and also you don’t say this usually in medication because it sounds a bit melodramatic, a life-or-death scenario. 

One evening on the Excessive-Threat OB crew, whereas all of the precise OB residents had been having enjoyable performing C-sections, I used to be left to test on sufferers of their rooms. We had one affected person on bedrest whose placenta, rising like an aggressive most cancers, unfold by means of her uterus and invaded her physique, referred to as Placenta Percreta. The placenta is engorged with blood vessels – so there was a terrifying information that she and her baby may quickly bleed to loss of life. The OB/GYN, oncology and surgical groups all saved very shut tabs on her. 

She had skilled a number of false alarms, when she felt blood may be trickling out, however she at all times turned out to be wonderful. So when she paged me that evening, apprehensive some bleeding might need began, I used to be not too nervous. I checked and didn’t see any blood. I reassured her that it was one other false alarm, and hoped she had a quiet evening.

Twenty minutes later she referred to as me once more. This was not a affected person you accused of crying wolf. So, I trotted again to her room and turned again the blanket to re-examine between her legs. This time, in opposition to all my hopes, I noticed crimson fluid on her mattress sheets. Now, I do know what blood appears to be like like, I’m not a complete bozo, and it undoubtedly seemed like blood, however I nonetheless stared at it for a number of seconds, needing to be completely sure. I used to be about to set off a severe beacon of alarms to lots of people, and if I used to be fallacious, and it was some crimson reflection, or a mirage from my sleep disadvantaged resident mind enjoying tips, I used to be going to look actually silly after which probably be exiled from the hospital.  

So I stared, hoping my eyes had been deceiving me. No, it was blood. One other resident walked by at that second, and I referred to as for him to assist me. Hospitals are fairly calm locations and docs act fairly unflappable. However on this case, we had been informed to run screaming to the OR. So we did. We ran down the corridor, pushing her hospital mattress as quick as we may,  hollering your entire method, shouting to name and alert all of the groups. Contained in the OR, many medical groups converged, and virtually on cue, the floodgates opened, and blood splattered onto the tiled flooring, echoing loudly like a sink overflowing with the tap left large open. They saved mom and child that evening and, within the course of, gave her over 40 models of blood. To provide you an concept, that was in all probability 4-5 instances the quantity of blood in her physique to start with. 

Belief your instincts.

One calm morning, I used to be working within the ER when a husband introduced his spouse in, saying she was feverish and never feeling nicely. They’d simply visited her physician’s workplace for a similar factor and been despatched dwelling after having a couple of assessments run. However they determined to cease in our ER as she nonetheless felt sick, too sick to go dwelling. And she or he seemed depressing, like somebody with influenza or pneumonia. Her temperature was over 104 F—excessive for an grownup, probably signifying a severe an infection. Then she began complaining of a extreme headache. These signs had been beginning to sound like meningitis, an an infection across the mind. Bacterial meningitis, if not handled instantly, could be deadly. Then issues bought loopy.  

She complained that her fingers and toes had been beginning to harm. Someplace, deep within the recesses of my gradual working medical mind was a reminiscence of complexes forming in blood from an an infection which may block off small blood vessels, thus inflicting ache. Blood assessments had been drawn, I did a spinal faucet, despatched her for a CT scan and antibiotics had been began – however issues saved getting worse. Her fingers and toes began turning black. She was transferred instantly to the ICU. Turned out to be a random Strep an infection (Strep Bovis) inflicting meningitis. It was terrifying how rapidly the an infection overwhelmed her from the quick time between her arriving within the ER and being taken to the ICU. She lived, after a prolonged keep requiring intubation and a number of amputations. However I don’t suppose she would have made it if that they had gone dwelling as a substitute of deciding to cease within the ER. 

Why we don’t take pointless medicines.

The Burn Unit groups deal with accidents from all kinds of loopy locations: lightning strikes, boiling water spills, falling into bonfires, meth lab explosions, choosing up fallen energy traces, you title it. However the single worst case I noticed throughout my Burn Unit rotation was a younger girl who had been handled for a standard chilly with a standard antibiotic. Sadly that gratuitous medication (antibiotics don’t deal with viruses) had triggered a extreme allergic response referred to as poisonous epidermal necrolysis syndrome (TENS). She seemed like she had been dropped right into a vat of boiling oil. Inside her physique, the response mixed with intense medical care, had triggered all kinds of havoc resulting in a number of organ system injury. Months later I realized she wanted each lungs transplanted. All for a standard chilly that by no means wanted antibiotics. When sufferers attempt convincing me (typically yelling at me – which isn’t convincing by any means) that it wouldn’t harm them to take an antibiotic for a chilly, simply in case it helps them get higher sooner, that’s the case I consider as I politely clarify why it’s nonetheless not a good suggestion. 

Not all the things within the ICU goes badly.

We had been treating a affected person within the MICU who we anticipated to die day by day. Very like the Dread Pirate Roberts (for all you Princess Bride followers) saying he would probably kill Wesley the subsequent day, all of us anticipated the weird coronary heart failure that was inflicting her, to kill her the subsequent day. She appeared to be a number of hundred years outdated and sported an alabaster white pores and skin pallor that would depart ghosts envious. Daily I used to be pimped in entrance of the ICU crew about what to regulate to make the balloon pump make her coronary heart work extra effectively, and day by day, after wanting inept, the crew agreed, it in all probability didn’t matter what we did, she was going to die anyway. And sooner or later issues seemed dire. We informed her household to say their remaining farewells. However she informed us she could be up dancing within the hospital the subsequent day. I do not know what occurred, what super-smoothie she drank, however the subsequent day, her pores and skin was pink, she was sitting upright, appeared to be solely 40 years outdated and was transferred to the common hospital flooring the very subsequent day. She was probably dancing the evening away and we had no concept how she bought higher. 

Generally, it’s simply not your time, regardless of how onerous you attempt.  

The Burn Unit may go away you dumbfounded simply seeing what folks can survive. Our patient-to-be, straight out of a street runner cartoon, had been mountaineering in a close-by canyon when he was struck by lightning, The excessive voltage blast, amongst different traumas, had stopped his coronary heart, primarily killing him. His principally lifeless physique fell round 40 ft onto a rock flooring. That fall shattered his backbone, ribs, and lots of different bones. Happily, as all The Princess Bride followers will recall, “There’s an enormous distinction between principally lifeless and all lifeless. Principally lifeless is barely alive.”  The influence of slamming into the rocks nevertheless, not solely broke bones, it additionally shocked his coronary heart again into life! 

He took a couple of months to get better, however walked out with directions from the top physician to determine what he was presupposed to do together with his life, as a result of apparently, he should be alive for a cause. To finish the Wile E. Coyote story, years later I noticed him once more in an pressing care clinic, this time after he tried utilizing a brand new espresso machine at dwelling and scalded many of the pores and skin off his hand. Apparently being a barista was not his cause to stay round. 

Probably the most freaked out I ever felt.

It’s uncommon {that a} hospital supply doesn’t prove nicely. There are groups of nurses, docs, neonatal and respiratory specialists, something you wished, with all kinds of machines and medicines to assist. However sooner or later, engaged on a rural rotation, removed from the large hospital with all of the skilled groups, the physician I used to be working with informed me we had a supply to carry out. No drawback. I did numerous these. I confidently took over this pregnant girl’s care and all the things went nice: I used to be talking Spanish, telling the girl when to push as I eased the infant’s head out, and subsequent ready to ship the toddler’s shoulder.

However the shoulder didn’t seem.

I heard the agricultural physician inform me to ship the shoulder — which was precisely what I used to be making an attempt to do…besides the shoulder simply wouldn’t come out. The newborn’s head was protruding, however that was so far as he would transfer. I used to be encountering one thing you examine in textbooks, referred to as “shoulder dystocia.” However till you see it, you haven’t any concept how scary it may be. 

The textbooks and lectures taught a protocol to observe: Apply stress on the moms abdomen and pubic symphysis; attempt rotating the kid; put the mom’s legs additional in direction of her head; comparatively conservative strategies to start out. However with the infant being compressed, blood provide to his head was being minimize off, so if issues weren’t going nicely, subsequent steps within the protocol included breaking the infants clavicle or slicing the mom’s pubic bone. OUCH! Ouch on all accounts. However much less traumatic than the kid dying. And I couldn’t get the child out. 

At this level everybody was perspiring, the physician and I bantering directions, the mom was crying, and my arm was deep inside her, twisting the child, making an attempt to get him out. However he wouldn’t budge. The physician joined me in pulling and pushing – and eventually we delivered him. However there was no breath of aid as a result of the child was blue and floppy. I instantly thought that in our efforts to get him out, we had twisted and broken his spinal twine. I nearly doubled over and vomited – however as a substitute began quickly drying him off, warming him up, sucking mucous from his nostril and throat, and keen him to breathe… and eventually he got here round. He was simply wonderful.

I  nevertheless was not; I used to be freaked out and near shock and wished to give up medication. Although all the things turned out wonderful, that was a severe wakeup name as to what can occur. We always remember the circumstances that don’t go nicely, and possibly be taught probably the most from them – though not precisely some extent you share with sufferers, “It’s higher for me in case your care doesn’t go nicely.”  However each medical scholar or intern I taught acquired a lecture on shoulder dystocia and possibly that has helped save one other child. 

True Hero.  

The lady I used to be relationship at the very same time as that shoulder case was the chief resident on the surgical procedure crew. She was a severe, no-nonsense, wonderful, workaholic physician, who did all the things the precise method—i.e. typical surgeon in sharp distinction to yours really. One night she was on her method out of the hospital to choose up some take-out meals as a good friend of ours was within the hospital after his lung collapsed (a unique story altogether, he’s a ache in my ass as he rode a one-hundred-mile mountain bike loop within the desert with that lung collapsed). Anyway, on her method out, she will get a name that one in all her surgical sufferers is coding on the sixth flooring hallway.  

She drives again, sprints up six flights of stairs (she was an ultra-marathon runner, in order that was sooner than the elevator) and pushes apart the medication crew crowding round her unconscious affected person about to shock his coronary heart (there are surgical and medical groups within the hospital– it’s a severe rivalry, belief me). She then calls for a pair of scissors. The inner medication attending, whose crew is technically accountable for the code, begins yelling at her, “What the hell are you doing??!!” as she takes the scissors and cuts the affected person’s stomach open—proper in the course of the hallway! 

The attending retains shouting at her as she sticks her hand into the affected person’s belly cavity (she had put gloves on) and clamps his aorta in opposition to his backbone together with her hand. Whereas the attending yells at her and everybody else stands wide-eyed and gawking, she retains calmly asking the nurse, “Do you’ve a pulse but?” After which, the heart beat comes again. She is wheeled all the way down to the OR, in her flowing skirt, on high of the affected person, on high of a gurney. Within the OR, she opens him up, sews his bleeding splenic artery again collectively and saves his life. This was pre-internet sort tales going viral, however it went viral. All the opposite surgical residency packages across the nation heard about it. 

I used to be at dinner together with her older brother a couple of weeks later, together with a gaggle of his surgical procedure buddies—all of whom had been all-star surgical residents. They had been bemoaning how a lot they need that it had occurred to them, that insane lifesaving second in entrance of the hospital employees, exhibiting the medical crew who was the higher physician, speaking about how they’d have dealt with the case. Then her brother seemed across the desk and mentioned, “You recognize what although? I by no means would have had the balls to do it.” And so they all agreed, none of them would have both. True hero. 

Simply foolish moments.

As chief resident we needed to be on cellphone name obligation within the hospital to reply medical questions for folks calling their sleeping docs at odd hours. The rationale being that we residents had been awake anyway—which was true. One evening I acquired this name: “My husband has had two coronary heart assaults and simply had bypass surgical procedure. He’s having chest ache proper now and says it feels identical to the final two coronary heart assaults. Do you suppose I ought to take him to the hospital?”  

“Effectively, how a lot do you like your husband?” 

“Excuse me?” 

“I’m joking. You must hold up and dial 911 instantly.”

Adventures in Manscaping.

Seems “manscaping” is an precise phrase. Yours really was actively manscaping, making an attempt a brand new electrical razor to wash up the nether area, when instantly the bathe water turned brilliant crimson. As I discussed in one of many above circumstances, I do know what blood appears to be like like, and this was undoubtedly blood. Quite a lot of it. I jumped out of the bathe pondering to seize a towel, however they had been all white, and the lavatory tiles my spouse selected are wooden and white, and he or she was coming dwelling with the children from faculty any minute. I wanted to cease the bleeding as a result of there was no method I used to be letting all three youngsters marvel what was happening with me bleeding from my midsection after which telling their respective schoolmates that their dad had castrated himself, however then mother killed him for ruining the flowery tile work earlier than he had an opportunity to bleed to loss of life.

The bleeding was so heavy, that I couldn’t cease it regardless of roll after roll after roll of gauze pressed to my groin. The one factor that helped was utilizing painful spring-loaded clamps to  squeeze your entire bleeding space – however each time I attempted to look, pondering it had clotted off, I couldn’t see a factor because the bleeding instantly began once more. Lastly, eight hours later, with everybody asleep, and worrying I actually may be slowly bleeding to loss of life, not wanting youngsters to be traumatized if that occurred, and stubbornly refusing to go to the ER to inform a receptionist what was happening, I bought out an outdated suture equipment and needle and blindly began placing sutures into the realm of bleeding. Ultimately the bleeding slowed sufficient so I may see what was happening and eventually sewed up a lacerated vein. Sorry, that was gross.

The dangers and rewards of cooking bare.

The rewards are fairly apparent, much less cleanup if issues splatter, in fact – however possibly you’re pondering one thing else? The dangers nevertheless can range – the aforementioned splattering (I personally don’t suggest frying meals bare) for instance or slipping. Slipping?? Sure, we had a really good girl arrive in our clinic after she slipped whereas cooking. She had been making ready potato salad within the nude, as one would possibly do, and landed proper on a potato — which was now lodged in her vagina. No judgment, simply informing you of the inherent dangers concerned with nakedly making ready root greens.  

Whole chapters of medical books are devoted to the strategies for eradicating the number of objects that one way or the other wind up caught inside folks. By far, the vast majority of culprits are youngsters shoving candies, buttons, popcorn kernels and different objects up their nostril or of their ears.  However sure, adults have their very own enjoyable with objects and whereas x-ray photos could be spectacular, the tales behind the photographs are simply as entertaining.   

OK, these had been a couple of tales that seem in additional element in my ebook collection, Taking part in Physician. If I’m invited again after these tales, I’ll provide you with 10 extra much less severe tales, together with the time I bought to play Sheriff and when a spider bit my penis.


You’ll want to hearken to Dr. Lawrence’s podcast episode for extra, and like he mentioned: keep tuned for enjoyable tales and a Q&A with him.

Have you ever learn Taking part in Physician but?

x, The Skinny Confidential crew

+ Enjoyable information about John Stamos.

++ Bryan Johnson on slowing down the growing older course of.