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Y2K Bug Resistance--A Medical Perspective

By Stu Silverstein, MD
November 1999

Being here for the Turn of the Century was exciting, something that only a select few ever experience.  The turn of the Millennium certainly is an experience that few can have, and imagine the excitement of people like Strom Thurman who can claim they experienced this once in the year 1000 and now again.  If you are around to read this, then all that hysteria and hunkering down in underground bunkers were as useful as the  “don’t spit” signs in the NY City Subway.

The hospital might have been a scary place the night of December 31, 1999, or scarier than usual.  We were prepared for our own set of Y2K related problems that nobody else was.   While I did not barbwire my backyard and line the perimeter with motion triggered mace canisters, I made sure I was not on call that night. I wondered if there would be mayhem and confusion there -- would the ambulances roll in? Would the Ventilators stop working? Would the IV’s stop dripping because 1900 would no longer mean 7PM and what about the worst, would the vending machines stop coughing out scooter pies to sleep deprived interns? “The Horror!”

Here are the Top Y2K Medical Surprises as predicted by Stu Silverstein, MD:

15) Everything is fine and folks barely notice that the entire Department of Anesthesiology has been in Reverse Trandelenburg Position.

14) A computer glitch at People Magazine selects “Harold the Middle Aged Pathologist” as the Sexiest Man Alive.

13) Regis Philbin is replaced by Dr. Debakey on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire“, contestants are asked questions from the Surgery Oral Board Exam, and those who fail (everyone) are assigned to the Dog Lab for 3 years.

12) Kaiser Permanente starts a trend with the first Drive Through Circumcision booth.

11) The Hospital ATM machine now has 3 choices-- Withdrawal, Deposit, Hospital Stock Options-- that actually ARE worth the paper they are written on.

10) All hospital systems shut down, and suddenly Amish MBA students are in frantic demand.

 9) In a bizarre twist of Cyberfaith, Dr. Ruth becomes Surgeon General and Comedian Don Rickles marries Janet Reno in a drunken rampage.

 8) Hillary Clinton, to prove herself to jaded New Yorkers, holds a press conference, kills a squirrel with her bare hands and then takes questions on her new healthcare plan.

 7) Overnight, Columbia merges with Kaiser and becomes  "Nobody Takes a Whiz."

 6) Hospital cafeterias in South Carolina offer a new Ice Cream Flavor to Celebrate the Millennium, Strom Thurman’s Thousandth Birthday Party, and his Hair Color, “Orange You Too Old Mocha Chip”

 5) To encourage membership, the AMA introduces the new Swimsuit Issue of JAMA and all new members receive a free combination Laryngoscope Mobile Phone.

 4) Malpractice cases and insurance rates drop exponentially when lawyers by the thousands end up suing themselves and end up working around the clock for weeks on end in a psychotic tail chasing perpetual loop ultimately collapsing from exhaustion, dehydration, and despair.

 3) Cafeteria Vending Machines are ringed by a Phalanx of Armed Guards and trained dingos, when Microwave Burritos go for $175,000 each, plus a hefty fee for access to the Microwave keypad.

 2) President Clinton's January “custom” issue of “Cigar Aficionado” is accidentally sent to Barbara Bush and forwarded to C. Everett Coop.  DrKoop.com Stock prices skyrocket.

and the  Number 1 Y2K surprise for the Medical Profession:

1) Sam, the introverted Psychiatrist who has never spoken a single word at Medical Staff Meetings, finally introduces himself as an Alien and announces that life as we have known it will cease to exist as of this moment. 

Stu Silverstein, MD--in addition to being a Pediatrician--is also an award winning standup comedian and Popular Keynote Speaker.  His two presentations “Humor in Medicine ??? ... You Must be Joking!!!” and “Reducing Stress with Humor and Not the other way Around !!”  keep him in high demand at conferences and meetings. For more information, call 203-406-4298 or visit www.mdhumor.com

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