March 4th, 2018

Winner of ID Cartoon Caption Contest #3, and Here’s #4 Just in Time for CROI

One of the challenging aspects of writing this blog is that there is so much interesting material in the ID/HIV world that sometimes I forget to cover critical items.

Example: the winner of the most recent ID Cartoon Caption Contest, which I’m embarrassed to admit, has been awaiting its announcement since late 2016.

The winner:

“He was ready to go 6 days ago but I can’t find ‘discharge’ on the menu.”

It’s a great caption, trouncing the very strong competition of 3 other finalists by garnering 62% of the vote.

But I confess we here at NEJM Journal Watch were torn between this one and “Have you tried switching him off and back on again?,” which we thought would finish stronger than its 13% of the total vote.

Concerned, we asked our crack team of cybersecurity experts to investigate further, and we’re proud to announce there was no Russian meddling in the voting process. Hence, the winner is clear.

So congratulations to Steve V., who submitted the top caption! As I’m sure he’s aware, he’s the winner of a lifetime free subscription to this blog, good in all 50 states and US Territories. If Steve V. is from another country, he can continue to access the blog provided he has a valid yellow fever vaccination certificate.

Now, onto the next contest. Some of us in the ID/HIV world will be coming to Boston for CROI this week, but fortunately my skilled collaborator Anne Sax not only isn’t attending CROI, she also has no idea what “CROI” even is.

Working together (my idea, 100% her drawing), we’ve come up with the doctor-patient encounter displayed below, perhaps inspired by last week’s Nor’easter.

As before, write your proposed caption in the comments section, or pop it on my Twitter feed — or, if you’re feeling shy, email it to me at

Good luck!


66 Responses to “Winner of ID Cartoon Caption Contest #3, and Here’s #4 Just in Time for CROI”

  1. Paul Sax says:

    Migrating a few over from Twitter to get us started …

    “Unfortunately your umbrella insurance policy has a high deductible.”

    “Ah, no, I prescribed the AEROSOLIZED form, not parasol-ized…”

    “You’ll be relieved to know that the tests are indeed negative for water on the brain.”

    “I think there is an ICD 10 code for this.”

  2. Denis Hart says:

    “I’ve heard of throwing shade, but this is ridiculous!”

  3. Denis Hart says:

    “Yes, it’ll likely reduce your risk of skin cancer, but I think a wide-brimmed hat would be more practical.”

  4. Vinicius Lopes says:

    “Stay home on windy days.”

  5. marvin rabinowitz says:

    “We’ve plated the spores and it grew a new species, Umbrellicans saxei, for which we’ve not yet found an antifungal for.”

  6. Miriam says:

    “How long would you say you’ve been feeling under the weather?”

  7. Ben says:

    “Oh yes, it was in the fine print of your umbrella policy.”

  8. Nick DR says:

    “I have good and bad news for you.
    The good news is your insurance company says you’re covered.
    The bad news is you’re only covered if it rains during the operation.”

  9. AS says:

    “How often would you say you’re experiencing dry eye?”

  10. Loretta S says:

    My primary care brain kicked in when I saw that one:

    “Yes, I know you have an umbrella-like growth on your forehead, but you are overdue for a colonoscopy”. [Or substitute anything else an EMR system would nag me about…]

    “I’m not sure why my assistant told you to get into a gown for me to examine that”.

    • hw says:

      ha! (The EMR). before the colonoscopy, please make sure he’s been screened for travel to certain ebola outbreak areas.

  11. Glenwood Ray Clark says:

    “Ah, I remember this question from USMLE Step 1.”

  12. Erica says:

    “Yeah…we’re still gonna need a CT scan.”

  13. neha alang says:

    “Doc-it’s raining outside.”

  14. Elissa says:

    “Now I am going to summarize what you just told me. You pushed the closed umbrella up your nose and then you heard a pop. Is this correct?”

  15. Joe says:

    “So, what brings you here today, Mr. Phineas P. Gage?”

  16. Anil Adisesh says:

    “Your psychometric test results show you’re not very open to new ideas”.

  17. Daniel Lim says:

    unfortunately, the flu jab doesn’t cover rhinovirus…

  18. Aiden Joseph Plant says:

    “Worst case of voriconazole-induced photosensitivity I have ever seen!”

  19. Brian M says:

    “Are you a frequent user of Twitter, because this is a clear case of throwing too much shade.”


    “… but on the bright side, it doesn’t look infected.”


    “Gee sir, since our last visit, that mole has really sprung.”

  20. Wade Butaud says:

    “Since it has only been there for a few days let’s give it a couple weeks to see if it resolves on its own. Let’s try a little bit a steroid and see what happens.”

  21. Gary says:

    “This whole ‘if it’s wet, dry it’ thing is getting out if hand.”

  22. Virginia Bache says:

    How long have you been humming “raindrops keep falling on my head”?

  23. Eric S says:

    “On the bright side, you are going to save a lot of money on sunscreen.”

  24. Dorabella says:

    “As your homeopath, I recommend you stick a little cocktail umbrella in it.”

  25. Daniel F Dedrick says:

    “We will send DNA samples to AncestryDNA, 23&me, and our own lab to see where this may have come from.”

  26. HOWARD DICKLER says:

    “Unfortunately the trial failed to show the protection we had hoped for.”

  27. Yatish Patel says:

    “But you still have to wear SPF 100 “

  28. Christan Parker says:

    No, you’re NOT in London, you’re having an hallucination!!!

  29. Laureen J says:

    Opening that up indoors is bad luck…

  30. W. K. Brubaker says:

    I understand you’re the son of Mary Poppins. Although personally painful, I’m prescribing a spoonful of sugar. Just remember, it’s not the 60’s any more and this is a psychoactive addictive substance that…

  31. W. K. Brubaker says:

    Gee, it looks like that MRSA infection has mutated to become resistant to ionizing radiation.

  32. joe says:

    as we have discussed, there might be some side effects…

  33. Nojan says:

    “It appears to me that you have an umbrella stuck in your forehead, but just to be sure, we are going to run a few tests and keep you overnight.”

  34. Kickapoo Dave says:

    You’re from Seattle, aren’t you?

  35. Caroline Bartolo says:

    Wasn’t sure if you wanted an ID flavour to the caption:

    “Let’s just say that if your head were a motility agar we’d be calling this Listeriosis”

  36. Nikeshan Jeyakumar says:

    “Good thing you came in early enough, we can still save the penumbrella”

  37. Alec Cooper, MD says:

    But your other one protects you against pulmonary embolism.

  38. Julian says:

    We are 80% done removing this horrible affliction plaguing doctors everywhere. The infamous brain apple.

  39. Marc Braun says:

    Since it’s a double blind study, honestly we don’t know if you’re randomized to placebo or umbrella.

  40. Trent Irwin says:

    “You have the first known case of an umbrella-like growth between the eyebrows. We are calling it ‘glabrella’”

  41. VF says:

    We just can’t be sure of what it is or its malignant potential. I recommend a biopsy, but even then, we might not get results. And even if we do, we still can’t be 100% positive. So think about it, talk to your wife. Have a good day!

  42. Sara K. says:

    It appears to be growing precipitously!

  43. MUSA SAEED says:

    Its not a tumor.

  44. Fred Drach says:

    I’m going to refer you to an infectious disease expert. Have you heard of delusions of parasolosis?

  45. Tom Prince says:

    We had a slight problem with the discount filter used during your carotid artery stent procedure….

  46. David says:

    We did a curbside consult with Dr Sax who says it must be Airborne Tropical Parasol Worm. He will send a Fellow to rub it with paraffin jelly and make it come out.

  47. Matthew M says:

    “Doc, I’m telling you, I’m pretty certain this is Lyme disease”

  48. Gabriel Urban says:

    – So this “Unicorn body mod” surgery you paid had a discount coupon, you say?
    – Well, they made it look it would be safe and sound.

  49. Aury Fernandez says:

    I see you’ve been through quite a brainstorm, would you like to address anything specific today?

  50. Jim Clark says:

    There’s a suspicious shadow on your x-ray.

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

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