September 11th, 2016

Poll: More on Morgans, and Vote on Your Favorite Cartoon Caption

rex MORGANDuring my last post on the new HIV testing algorithm, I mentioned that I’d recently met a doctor named “Morgan” for the first time. I also provided actual data why this might be an unusual name for a doctor today, but, rarity notwithstanding, we should anticipate more examples of “Morgan —-, MD” soon.

At the end of the post, I wrote:  “And if there are any other doctors named Morgan out there, I look forward to hearing from you.”

The topic prompted a curious series of emails between certain esteemed editors at NEJM Journal Watch and me. Below, a (heavily edited and augmented, but bones are unchanged) version for your perusal:

Esteemed Editor #1 (EE#1): Hey, did you hear from any doctors named Morgan?
Me:  Not yet. But in 10 years — there will be plenty! They will be banging down my door! Look at that graph! It really does seem to be a “generational” kind of name … You must know plenty of Morgans. [She’s much younger than I, hence my comment.]
EE#1: I personally know ZERO Morgans.
Me:  Hey, how old are you? I’m figuring that most Morgans are in their late-20s-30s around now. My nephew is getting married this weekend, he’s around 30. Bet he knows some Morgans.
EE#1:  Almost 46!!!! [Note the 4 exclamation points.] I could have a kid named Morgan. But all of my imaginary kids are named something else.
Esteemed Editor #2 (EE#2), who has been cc’d on these critical emails, but thus far is playing it coolAre you implying that you think we are in our 20s? If so, we will love you forever. The only Morgan I know is the one from the Mindy Project.
Esteemed Editor #3 (EE#3), who’s also been cc’d and now can’t resist weighing in:  Morgan Fairchild… not a millennial. Born in 1950! [The internet is cruel.]
EE#1:  Yeah, pretty much the only one I’m familiar with.
Me:  Morgan Freeman too, though I think of Morgan Fairchild as the true pioneer in the Morganization of the USA. And let’s face it, most of the young Morgans out there are females.
EE#1:  Right, it’s a unisex name. But more XX than XY recently.
EE#2: I can’t believe I forgot about Morgan Freeman! And he won an Academy Award, didn’t he?
Me: It was for The Shawshank Redemption. [I don’t really know this, but state it very confidently, at least if there’s an email equivalence of confidence. Guys love “The Shawshank Redemption.” And I’m counting on the fact that we’re all so “busy” — as evidenced by these emails — that they’ll never fact-check me. Oh well.]
EE#1: Wrong! Per Wikipedia: “Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and Invictus (2009).” So nominated for Shawshank, but didn’t win. In fact, nominated for a lot!
Me: Did you fact-check Wikipedia? [I got no response to that one.] Our readers would think I’d completely lost my mind if I wrote another blog post about doctors and Morgan, but there just might be enough material here.
EE#1:  Well, I’m the blog manager for your blog (and technically I report into EE#2 for this portion of my job). So, she might object to your Morgan-obsession. : ) I’ll defer the final decision …
EE#2:  No objection from me! Make it hilarious. [That will be your assessment. I’m doing my best!]
EE#1:  Maybe do a two-topic post, in which Morgan is only one of the topics.
Me: Actually, I was just kidding.
EE#1: Darn, I wish you were serious! Have a nice evening, all!


ID doctors, of course, are probably wondering, in our geeky way, about whether this all started with Morganella morganii, which is possibly fueling my obsession. Double Morgans, after all! And there’s a pretty famous comic with a Dr. Morgan name (see above picture), but his first name is Rex. Emphatically not Morgan.

On the subject of comics, it’s time to vote on your favorite caption for our last cartoon. After culling through the entries and submitting them to the usual rigorous testing, we’ve arrived at 3 top candidates for this fine drawing. Please vote!


Which is the funniest cartoon caption?

View Results


4 Responses to “Poll: More on Morgans, and Vote on Your Favorite Cartoon Caption”

  1. Mimi Breed says:

    Heck, I’m so old I used to read “Rex Morgan MD” (whose nurse was of course worshipfully in love with him) every Sunday, back in the Golden Age of Comic Strips. Also “Terry and the Pirates”; “Steve Canyon”; “Mary Worth”; “Apartment 3-G”; “Brenda Starr, Girl Reporter”; “Alley Oop”; “The Katzenjammer Kids,” “Andy Capp”; “Superman;” and “Li’l Abner.” All predecessors of “Peanuts” and “Doonesbury” and each one more sexist than the last. Oh, and “Pogo,” a trifle less sexist.

  2. James S. Wilk, MD says:

    When I was a kid, my family physician was William Boyd Morgan, MD.

  3. Benny says:

    Dr. Thomas Hunt Morgan discovered sex-linked inheritance, won the Noble Prize in Medicine, and, to the ire of generations of premed students, popularized the fruit fly as the model of Mendelian inheritance. A native Kentuckian, legend has it Morgan drew his inspiration to name the female and male sex chromosomes XX-XY, while imbibing from a bottle of Appalachian moonshine marked XXX*.

    *may (or may not!) have been written with tongue firmly in cheek

  4. David K says:

    I know it’s too late to submit captions, but… “I thought they took telaprevir off the market?”

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

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