Doctor Slang

| August 27, 2003

Dr. Adam Fox, a physician at St. Mary's Hospital in London, says the inventive language that doctors have created to insult their patients (and apparently to amuse themselves) is in danger of dying out. Unbeknownst to many, it seems doctors the world over have taken the medical acronym one step further by creating their own shorthand to say the unsayable about their patients. As co-author of a paper published in the journal Ethics and Behavior, Fox states that the increasing number of lawsuits makes it more likely that doctors will be asked to explain these notations in court. For instance, there's LOBNH (Lights On But Nobody Home), GLM (Good Looking Mum), and Digging for Worms (varicose vein surgery), to name a few. While taking care not to advocate its use, Fox believes that, like other unique forms of communication, the doctor slang is worthy of recording for posterity before it starts CTD (Circling the Drain).
-- Anne Geske

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