Stories [7]: A Strange Doctor

30 05 2010

The theme of the next Grand Rounds hosted at TECHKNOWDOC’S SURGICAL ADVENTURES is “Humor in Medicine”.

I have been thinking and thinking, but I failed to come up with a funny story other than I have told before (and one I have to check with my mom). Most of my experiences in the medicine/health field aren’t that funny (from my perspective). I can imagine it is different for people working in the field, and especially in the field of emergency care. Life in the Fast Lane and Other Things Amanzi are a rich source of medical humor.

But I have a short story to tell, that is on the interface of science and medicine…

As you probably know I worked as scientist for many years. I did my PhD in a lab where we worked with mice and guinea pigs. I tested the immuno-enhancing effects of cytostatic drugs in mouse models, whereas others tested immunotherapeutic effects of cytostatics, interleukins and/or vaccines in tumormodels, both in mice and guinea pigs. Good for science, but not so nice for the animals: I was glad I didn’t have to do the tumor-experiments.

My boss was a guinea pig expert, he knew everything about guinea-pig immunology. As most project leaders he had his PhD-degree. In the Netherlands he is therefore called a doctor (dr.), which is different from a “dokter” (in Dutch) or a doctor of Medicine (English). But many do not understand the difference.

Sometimes in the school holidays my boss’s little girls came along. They were shown the guinea pigs, but were (of course) kept from the experimentation rooms (the rules were not that strict in the eighties, one could just walk in and out of the stables). Dad tried to explain to them why the guinea pigs were there and what he was doing with them in a simple and not too rude way.

Later, the teacher of one of the girls asked the children of the class what their parents were doing for a living. When it was the turn of my boss’s daughter, she said that both of her parents were doctors. One was a GP and the other, well…. he cured guinea pigs ….

Photo Credits

Guinea Pig:



4 responses

30 05 2010

Love it!

30 05 2010

Someone’s in for a rude shock when they get bit older….

30 05 2010
Mike Cadogan

I assume that by ‘cure’ you mean in the medical sense (relieving the symptoms of a disease), and not in the ‘preservation’ sense…by salting, smoking or drying?

Along similar lines…I assume by GP you are referring to General Practitioner, and not Guinea Pig…

30 05 2010

O Mike! Don’t make me laugh. Your assumptions are right! (when searching pictures of guinea pigs I saw some rude pictures of smoked GP’s though 😉

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