October 2nd, 2018

Winner of Latest Cartoon Contest Proves Again That We ID Specialists Are a Different Breed

It is with a mixture of professional pride and embarrassment that I hereby present the winner of our last ID Cartoon Caption Contest:

“You have Listeria meningitis.”

Yikes. Talk about inside jokes.

Though the second-place finisher “Ah, no, I prescribed the AEROSOLIZED, not PARASOL-ized form” mounted a late charge, the geeky reference to Listeria monocytogenes and its “umbrella motility” held out for the win.

Let’s pause for a moment to consider the sheer obscurity of this winning caption:

Ha ha!

Special thanks to Sébastien Poulin for being the first to submit it, and doing so all the way from Canada. That couldn’t have been easy, what with the latest controversies in US-Canada relations.

As is customary, Sebastien will receive a lifetime free subscription to this blog. Perhaps he’ll even come this week to the annual gathering of ID nerds like him in San Francisco to pick up his prize.

Not surprisingly, the caption completely baffled my sister Anne, creator of the above cartoon (and not an ID doctor). She had no idea she was going to elicit listeria associations with her skillful and silly drawing. Our astute editors at NEJM Journal Watch were similarly perplexed, but too embarrassed to ask me to explain the joke.

(Now do you get it?)

While we’re all enjoying that bit of ID-related humor — and we are, aren’t we? — allow me to share this spot-on parody of how we ID doctors can obsess over obscure details (like umbrella motility) when sometimes those consulting us just want to know what to do:

For the record, that’s Brown medical resident Zoe Weiss, poking affectionate fun at her revered ID attending Dimitrios Farmakiotis.

(All “actors” gave permission to post this video, by the way. Send the lawyers away.)

And since Zoe made the best possible choice when it comes to her upcoming subspecialty training (ID, of course), she will one day play the same important role as Dimitrios — lecturing, um I mean teaching, impressionable residents.

Hope to see you at IDWeek!

One Response to “Winner of Latest Cartoon Contest Proves Again That We ID Specialists Are a Different Breed”

  1. Stephen Felts says:

    LOVED both the cartoon and video.

    Obviously your ID fellows are much cleverer than I and my contemporaries (circa early 1970’s) ever were.

    And you, Dr. Sax, always make me proud of our specialty.

Leave a Reply

Note: This is a moderated forum. By clicking on the "Submit Comment" button below, you agree to abide by the NEJM Journal Watch Terms of Use.

Our physician bloggers cannot respond to requests for personal medical advice, and recommend patients discuss health issues with their individual physicians.

HIV Information: Author Paul Sax, M.D.

Paul E. Sax, MD

Contributing Editor

NEJM Journal Watch
Infectious Diseases

Biography | Disclosures | Summaries

Learn more about HIV and ID Observations.