Medical slang and acronyms have always been a part of the pop culture of medicine. The slang often makes humorous reference to characteristics related to patients or patient care. But sometimes, the commentary is crude, sarcastic, derogatory, angry, distasteful or downright hurtful. An addition, medical acronyms and patient mispronunciations have even been known to make it into a patient chart or two. The language of medicine is filled with hundreds, perhaps thousands, of abbreviated reference to medical diseases and funny examples of phonetic misadventures. For example CAD means coronary artery disease while COPD means chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your point of view), doctors and nurses have created their own underground slang and acronym language to describe their experiences around them. Some folks call medical slang an art form. Other folks may consider it unethical.
Some of the content detailed below is very funny, tasteful and true. Some of it will be sure to upset those with a gently kitty soul. If you believe you do not have the stomach to experience the darker side of medicine, please do not continue reading. You have been warned.
Regardless of your decision, it's unlikely any compassionate doctor or nurse would ever say any of this stuff in front of their patients or write any of it in their patients' charts. Or they might. Who knows. The next time you see a doctor write "admit to OBS", instead of admit to observation, he could really be meaning admit to obvious bull sh*t. Instead of an admitting diagnosis of COPD for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, your doctor may really mean chronic old person's disease. Remember kids, TIATAAPFE (there is a time and a place for everything). Discussion of medical slang, descriptive acronyms and phonetic irritations should be left for the doctor's lounge, nurse's lounge, social gatherings and your email box. Let's start the discussion with a timeless favorite clean examples of medical slang.