January 22nd, 2017

Fun With Old Medical Images!

Welcome to Fun with Old Medical Images!

Here’s how it works: You’ll see a series of images — old, strange, and perplexing — and each will have a caption that I have created for you at no extra cost.

Accustomed to high-quality and clinically relevant information from your NEJM Journal Watch contributors, you will laugh happily at the contrast between that solid content and this silly exercise, forgetting for a moment the complicated and sometimes contentious world we live in.

See, this will be therapeutic.

Off we go. Here’s the first one:

knee in hot box

“Perkins wondered whether his doctors might consider an alternative treatment for his migraines, as the heated box on his knee appeared to be ineffective.”

Poor Perkins! I’m sure he’s also wondering why his doctors didn’t give him a pillow.

That was fun. Ready for #2?

"The most commonly reported adverse events were lethargy, fatigue, and dreaming of milk, eggs, and rib-eye steaks."

“Drug development of the novel sleep aid was halted when many patients reported lethargy, fatigue, and vivid dreams of milk, eggs, and lamb chops.”

So many promising drugs fail during clinical trials due to side effects! At least dreaming of lamb chops is safer than QT prolongation.

Now, onto #3:

four not moving

“Despite a full surgical schedule, Dr. Morrison had strangely not moved in well over an hour.”

Such stillness in that room! And who’s the uniformed man in the upper right? Is he a scribe?

We’re on a roll! Here’s #4:

"I'm bravely getting my vaccine even though you're scary, and women make better doctors."

“I’m bravely getting my vaccine even though you’re very scary, and women make better doctors.”

That’s one smart girl — she reads the literature! And she knows for a fact that Andrew Wakefield (not in this picture) is a fraud.

The laughs keep coming, so let’s go on to #5:

doctor doing housecall

“The good news is that his pulse is stronger. The bad news is that Uber is now on surge pricing.”

Here the key question — did medical insurance in mid-19th century France cover the cost of Uber for housecalls? I did a quick search — fascinating result.

Should we finish with a neat half-dozen? Why not, here’s #6:

eye test

“Patients were thrilled with the new device, which both measured intraocular pressure and gave a quick hair blowout.”

Nothing but fun at this ophthalmologist’s office! Eye appointments always last too long, so why not get checked for glaucoma and get a bit more stylish at the same time?

Thank you for taking this tour of Old Medical Images, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Next time, we’ll go back to our usual programming.

8 Responses to “Fun With Old Medical Images!”

  1. Sue Vicente says:

    Re #5:

    Wow! Observe here this prescient physician, 150 yrs ago, already seen with his back to the patient in mid-examination and not a computer in the room…none to be seen, anyway.

    My own physician, bless her, at least sits sideways to me as she struggles to serve two gods, dutifully typing away as she asks me questions and casts frequent, caring glances in my direction.

    (I’m a retired NP, so very glad to have retired before computers made it into the exam room.)

    P.S. Love the images!…especially Whistler’s Mother with the space bonnet.

  2. Max Voysey says:

    #1 – This is how I lost my other leg!
    #2 – On balance – we recommend an animal protein diet.
    #3 – Staring contest (blink reflex test).
    #4- Redheads eugenics experiment.
    #5 The good news is his pulse is stronger – the bad news is we wont all fit in this bed.
    #6. Here’s looking at you kid. That’ll be $135+tax.

  3. Jeanne says:

    Paul, I think this may need to become a regular feature (along with the cartoon caption contest and your link-o-ramas). Thanks for some chuckles on day #2 of the Trump administration….

  4. Sanford Kimmel says:

    Regarding #2.

    Looks like an early “Zero Gravity” chair. I wonder if it was patented?

  5. Danièle Michaud says:

    What a breath of fresh air, thank you so much! More, more! 🙂

  6. Loretta S says:

    #4: Longing for the old days, general surgeon Dr. Morrison keeps up his barbering skills.
    #6: Nurse Johnson smiles to herself as she anticipates the image of the giant hairy spider that is about to appear in Mrs. Smith’s Ophthalmo-Theater.

  7. Usdin Jean-Pierre MD says:

    do not make R F Kennedy inform of frame #4!
    he will say that kid is assaulted by vaccination.

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HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

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