Blog | Saturday, April 25, 2009

This post will not teach you about syncope

I assume that the packed house of internists learned a lot from this morning's session on syncope, but since medical-writer school doesn't include a course on reading electrocardiograms, what I picked up were some jokes about bears.

So here goes: The president wants to decide which law enforcement agency is the best so he releases a rabbit into the woods and sends the CIA, FBI and NYPD to get it. The CIA interviews all the animals, can't find it. The FBI kills everything in the woods, including the rabbit. After the NYPD goes in, a badly beaten bear comes out saying, "Yes, yes, I swear I'm a rabbit." The point was something about how electrophysiology is like the NYPD--you get an answer but it might not be the right one.

Then, presenter Fred Kusumoto, MD, told us about how premature ventricular contractions are like bear poop. If you're hiking in the woods and you see poop, you'd better watch out for a bear. Cleaning up the poop will not make you any less likely to run into a bear. Similarly, studies have found that using medication to get rid of patients' PVCs does not improve mortality.