Ok, I'm about to spill secrets. Keys to the kingdom. Pull the curtain aside to reveal the wizard.
May I humbly present: abbreviations/slang terms I have used in training/practice for the past 15 years. Otherwise known as reason #2461 why I am going to hell.
Disclaimer full of way too much honesty: I enjoy taking care of (nearly all of) my patients. The work is (exhausting) rewarding. But sometimes docs have to insulate themselves from the boatloads of >crazy< and frustration and quite frankly, keep from going down the black hole of sadness that sometimes comes with the territory. And no, I'm not depressed, not in the least. But this warped sense of humor is what keeps me from reaching for zoloft….
#1) "Calorie overdose" = Mentioned in an irreverent dictation by a colleague who was up to his eyeballs in obese patients. I think my buddy finally cracked. He also got a reprimand for writing that phrase. Come on, everyone knows you never EVER put this stuff on paper.
#2) "Facultative anaerobe" = Patients who survive in a low-oxygen environment. Often seen in little old 3 pack/day smokers who believe that their end-stage COPD requiring 4 liters of O2 has "absolutely nothing" to do with their tobacco use. Often as O2 levels drop, confusion increases, as does levels of denial and general blame of the doctor not being able to fix the breathing problem.
#3) "GOMER" = Get out of my ER. (Also known as "treat and street".) The most annoying/dramatic human being/family member in the universe or the most sick-as-s$#t patient you've ever seen. Either way, and for totally different reasons, you really don't want them in your ER. Folks who work in Level I trauma centers are screwed here. All the bad stuff from our critical access hospitals (GOMERs) go to the Level I's. (All doo-doo rolls downhill.)
#4) "AODHOB" = Angel of Death, Head of Bed. Don't judge. It's a quick way for the ER doc to describe the state of the patient who might not survive the trip down the hall to the ICU.
#5) "CTD" = Circling the Drain. See above.
#6) "FLK,NLM" = Funny Looking Kid, Normal Looking Mom. (Can be NLK,FLM or can be FLK,FLM.) Most often used in the nursery when the kid comes out and the squishy, weird facial features from passage through the birth canal don't improve at 24 hours. Then you look a little more closely at the parents and make a comparison.
#7) "PPPPP" = "Piss Poor Protoplasm, Poorly Perfused" Really, do you need me to explain this one?
#8) "All foam, no beer" = Not necessarily specific to medicine, but it works just fine.
#9) "The Q sign" = Ok folks, let's visualize this one. Picture a patient who is obtunded from, say, alcohol intoxication and is passed out in the semi-recumbant position on the hospital bed. His head is tilted to the side, mouth is open, and tongue is hanging out of the dependent corner of his mouth, thus making the tail of the Q.
#10) "Squirrel" = Often accompanied by the tch tch tch squirrel sound and a nose scrunch/wiggle. When someone can't keep their story straight about why their drug screen is positive for meth when they've never smoked it "ever" or how they managed to get a broom handle lodged in their rectum. "One in a million shot, doc." (thank you Frank Costanza)
Author, daydreamer, and practitioner of trying very hard to duct tape folks together and help when I can.