Doctor slang is a dying art


It’s rare that reading a medical article can actually be enjoyable, but this was one of those few occasions where it’s at least possible, listing some of the abbreviations doctors use to describe their patients. Apparently the use of these is on the wane due to the increased risk of litigation. Increasingly rare will become phrases like ‘pumpkin positive’, implying that shining a light into the patient’s mouth would have a Halloween effect due its being unimpeded by the patient’s miniscule brain.

‘DBI refers to “Dirt Bag Index”, and multiplies the number of tattoos with the number of missing teeth to give an estimate of the number of days since the patient last bathed.’

I’ll let you read the rest for yourself, should you so desire. Doctor Adam Fox, specialist registrar at the Child Allergy Unit in St Mary’s hospital, has collected more than 200 examples. His article in Ethics & Behaviour can be downloaded here if you want the serious version. The BMJ’s take on it here. And finally a fairly full list here, scroll down to “Terms”. You can’t say I’ve left you with nowhere to look further.

The above with respect and thanks to Hypnotherapist Jack Raymond. 

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