UCEM Medical Acronym Dictionary

The Utopian College of Emergency for Medicine has years of experience in the use of TLA’s,  obfuscating latinification and ambiguous ausenclature. With this level of self-proclaimed expertise, UCEM has delegated a working group from the Department Advocating Medical Acronyms (DAMA) to assist the common people of the general public in comprehending medical phraseology

It is intended that this hardly comprehensive, nor accurate collection of acronyms, phrases and astute observations will assist those not of medically sound mind to gain a pseudo-scientific insight into the inner sanctum of the glorified hallows of medical parlance. [Sir Hubert]

As a disclaimer, UCEM would like to point out that this collection is neither definitive, nor an accurate representation of Utopian practices or practitioners. Any offence taken should be pointed squarely at the field of medicine and not the DAMA or the Utopian division for the Further Development of Acronyms (FDA)

There are currently over 700 terms in the dictionary. The Dictionary table has a search function which allows rapid interrogation of the dictionary database.

Term/Acronym
Definition
10th Floor TransferDying. The floor number is always the next number on from the highest floor in the hospital
3H enemaEnema that is "high, hot, and a hell of a lot." Reputedly given to patients who give staff a hard time.
3P'sPill, Permissiveness and Promiscuity. Relates to female patients with sexually transmitted disease
404 momentNot Found. The point in a doctor's ward round when medical records cannot be located. Comes from HTTP 404 error "Not Found".
45CPatient is one chromosome short of a full set (thick)
4FFair, fat, female and forty OR fat, forty-ish, flatulent female (both mean abdominal pain patient who is candidate for gall bladder disease)
4HHaemophiliac, Hispanic, Homosexual, Heroin addict (US)
5-H-I-TFaeces. Polite medical term for sh!t
6PFP6-pack and a fishing pole. Example: "this patient doesn't need chemo, he needs 6PFP." - Usually referring to an end-stage patient who should go die somewhere else.
AAA (or Triple A)Ay Ay Ay. Precursor to Status Hispanicus. Wound-up Hispanic female unable to tolerate even the small discomfort of removing an adhesive plaster, but not yet full-blown histrionics.
AALFDAnother A**hole Looking For Drugs
Acades vulgarisMedical students
ACDCMedicolegally sound - Arse covered, doctor called
Acopic/AcopiaUnable to cope. Describes a patient with no acute medical problem, but significant social problems, who it is impossible to 'turf' out of the ED and requires admission (see Patients Without Discernible Pathology (PDWP))
AcronymophiliaAffliction characterized by excessive use of acronyms. Se also TLAitis
Acute Prozac DeficiencyDepression
AdminosphereAdministration Department. An area where hospital managers work, reckoned to be "another planet"
AdminostriviaThe flurry of pointless emails and paperwork that emanate from the adminosphere.
AGAAcute Gravity Attack (fell over)
AGMIAin't Gonna Make It
AgnosticationTerm used to describe the usually vain attempt to answer the question: "How long have I got, doc?" - see also Prognostication
AHFAcute Hissy Fit
Air biscuitA stool that •Ââoats
AirwolfAir-ambulance After a popular US TV series
AlbatrossChronically ill patient who will remain with a doctor until one or other of them expire
ALFIAustralia's Largest F^cking Idiot
AMF YoYoAdios my friend, you're on your own (MF can also stand for MoFo
Ampho-terribleAmphotericin, the antifungal that often makes the patients sicker
Angel LustA death erection.
AOAAdult onset anencephaly (to be without a brain)
AppyAppendix. A person's appendix or a patient with appendicitis
APTFRANApply Pillow To Face, Repeat As Necessary (for annoying patient)
Arsenic in antifreezeMelarsoprol (IV sleeping sickness drug) is exactly this!
Ash cashAssuming Room Temperature (dying)
Ash pointWhere you collect your ash cash from
Ass GrapesBadly thrombosed or strangulated haemorrhoids
AssmosisPromotion by "kissing ass"
Assuming the Q PositionDeteriorating or dying with tongue hanging out
ASTAssuming Seasonal Temperature (dead)
Asynapsing neuritisSee also LOBNH
ATSAcute Thespian Syndrome (the patient is a malingerer)
Aunt Minnie lesionOnce seen, never forgotten, like Aunt Minnie at the Fineberg wedding
AWTB/AWTFAway With The Birds/Away With The Fairies; a patient who is totally confused
B-52Combined 5mg of haloperidol IV + 2mg of midazolam IV
Baby CatcherObstetrician
BabygramEntire body X-ray you often get when taking an X ray of a neonate
Bagged and Tagged (B&T)Body ready for dispatch to morgue
BaggingManually helping a patient breathe using an Ambu bag attached to a mask that covers the face
BagrinhosInterns (Brazil) ("bullheads" - type of fish that gets in the way of real fishing)
BananaPatient with jaundice
Basement admissionWill end up in hospital morgue (located in the hospital basement)
Bash cashPayment received by registrars in the UK for completing medical reports on patients who have allegedly been assaulted
BBA(baby) Born before arrival
BBCSBumps, Bruises, Cuts and Scrapes (i.e. no serious injuries)
BBL Sign (Belly-button Lint Sign)Male, middle-aged, overweight and hairy (an umbilicus that looks like the lint [fluff] trap in a tumble dryer is most common in overweight, hairy, older men). Known as Belly-button Fluff in Britain.
Beached WhaleA patient who is unable to get out of bed
BennyPatient on benefit (welfare payments)
BettyPatient with diabetes
BFHBig f!cking head. Usually hydrocephalus, often used to describe an FLK as in "Go examine the FLK with the BFH."
BFHBrat From Hell (usually accompanied by PFH - Parent(s) from Hell)
Bilateral Samsonite SyndromePatient admitted with both their bags packed in preparation
BITBurp in transit (gas seen in the stomach on an abdominal film)
Black cloudDoctor who attracts difficult or prolonged cases or an unusually high number of code blues calls
BladeSurgeon: dashing, bold, arrogant and often wrong, but never in doubt
BlamestormingApportionment of blame after the wrong leg or kidney is removed or some other particularly egregious foul-up
Bleep dreamWaking in the belief that the bleep has gone off
Blinky the FishRadiologist (The 3-eyed, mutant goldfish from The Simpsons is the mascot of many radiology depts).
Blood SuckerPractitioners who take blood samples, such as laboratory technicians and Phlebotomists - see also Leeches, Vampires
Blood-Brain BarrierSurgical drapes
Blown MindGunshot wound (GSW) to the head.
Blue BloaterPatient with chronic bronchitis
Blue PipeVein (as opposed to 'red pipe' or artery)
BMTBowel-Movement Taco (faecal matter trapped in female genitalia)
BMWBitch Moan & Whine
Bobbing for applesManual disimpaction. Unblocking a badly constipated patient with one's finger
BOHICABend Over, Here It Comes Again
BoneheadOrthopedic Surgeon
Boogie or GooberTumour. A Roasted Goober is a tumour after intensive cobalt treatment; a Healthy Goober is a dead tumour patient.
BordeauxBloodstained urine (macroscopic hematuria)
Bottle returnRemoving a bottle lodged in the anal canal
BounceThe art of skillfully avoiding admitting a patient by finding a symptom which allows referral to another Speciality - alternative to TURF
BouncebackPatient who returns to the emergency department with the same complaints shortly after being released
Brain FryElectroconvulsive Therapy (ECT) for depression
Bronze John's Law(paediatrics) If the weight of the records exceeds the weight of the child, the prognosis is grim
Brothel SproutsGenital warts
Brothelizer testMicrobiology test (on swab or sample) requested by the Genito-Urinary Clinic or STD clinic to check for sexually transmitted diseases. A positive test result means the patient has "failed the brothelizer test".
Brown troutA stool that won't float, as opposed to an 'air biscuit' which does.
BuffTo be sure all details regarding a patient's care are attended to so that discharge or transfer to another service or facility will proceed smoothly and no excuses or objections can be raised to prevent the discharge or transfer. For example "Be sure to buff the guy in 702 before we send him to the nursing home." It can also mean that you make up lab and other results, even if you haven't done them, to make yourself look good on rounds.
Bungee jumperA patient who pulls on his catheter tube
Bunny Boiler(Psych) dangerously obsessive or unbalance woman (based on film "Fatal Attraction")
BurgerSunburned patient with ruptured blisters
Bury the HatchetAccidentally leaving a surgical instrument inside a patient
BVABreathing Valuable Air
BWCOBaby Won't Come Out (needs Caesarian)
C/C "Cancel Christmas" (dead)
C&T WardComa ward - "cabbages and turnips/ tomatoes"
CabbageHeart bypass i.e. CABG (Coronary Artery Bypass Graft)
Calcified Penisitis MorbidiumMale patient whose ailment is due to excessive or unprotected sex
Call Button Jockey/Buzzer Junkiepatient that uses call button all night long for no good reason.
Callbellectomyminor operation, sadly not permitted, to remove over-used call bell from patient's hand/reach!
Captain KangarooHead of a paediatrics department
Cast Iron Bum/Butt SyndromeWhen the needle goes into the buttocks straight, but comes out curved
Category 6 PatientTriage is Cat 1 (major) to Cat 5 (minor) so Cat 6 means a timewaster
CC and BCCComplaint Corner, a patient that complains about everything; BCC is one that behaves nicely to medical staff and complains behind their backs (from business acronyms for carbon copy and blind carbon copy)
Celestial dischargeDeath
Ceph-du-jourThe latest cephalosporin that everyone is using to treat infections.
Champagne tapA bloodless sample from a lumbar puncture. Traditionally awarded a bottle of champagne by the supervising consultant.
Chandelier signUsed to describe a patient who experiences extreme pain during a physical exam and thus "jumps up to the chandelier." Classically used to describe cervical motion tenderness from a pelvic inflammation.
CHAOSChronic Hurts All Over Syndrome (PTSD/Fibromyalgia, etc.)
Chart BiopsyCheck chart for other depts' plans on the patient
Chart DehiscenceDrop patient chart and everything falls out.
ChartomegalyPatient attends so frequently s/he has a large (and growing) chart
Cheese and OnionThe Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine, because of its green and yellow cover. Also known as the 'Bible'
Chocolate HostageConstipated
Choly / CholePatient with cholecystitis (inflammation of the gallbladder) or cholecystectomy patient.
Chrome Induced IschaemiaPatient that develops inexplicable chest pains when arrested and handcuffed
Chronic Burger/Biscuit ToxicityObesity
Chronic Slapping DeficiencyAnnoying/unruly family members hitting nurse's call button every 5 minutes with minor requests/inane questions or for fun
CKSCute kid syndrome
Clip and StripRemove staples and adhesive sutures
CLLChronic low life
CLMCareer limiting move
CNS-QNSCentral Nervous System - Quantity Not Sufficient
Cockroach FactorA patient's ability to survive trauma or serious treatment is inversely proportional to his contribution to society (see TTI).
Code 0(Ambulance) Time-waster/tax-waster (genuine codes are Code 1 [non-serious] to Code 4 [emergency])
Code AzureMessage to other medics to do nothing extraordinary to save a very ill patient who will die shortly no matter what is done
Code Browna faecal incontinence emergency. Often used by nurses and medical technicians requesting help cleaning up an unexpected bowel movement.
Code BrownIn Australia, the code used for a coffee break.
Code SurferMedic straddling the patient on trolly (gurney) performing chest compressions while patient is being transported
Code YellowA patient who has lost control of his or her bladder
Coffee and a NewspaperPatient is Constipated (i.e. long time sitting on toilet with drink and reading matter)
Coffin dodgerDescriptive of a (usually elderly) patient who persists in staying alive despite all natures attempts to the contrary
Cold tea signWhen positive, refers to the several cups of cold tea on the bedside cabinet beside an elderly patient whom has recently "passed on"
COPDChronic Old Persons Disease (unwell, no specific cause)
COSMONAUTCat Owner, Smells, Made Of Nuts And Used Tampons ("mad cat lady" with poor hygiene and body odour)
Crackerjack referral
CRAFTCan't Remember A F@$king Thing
Cranial rectosisUS: butthead (US term for idiot); UK: head-up-ass (arrogant/arrogant fool)
Cranial-Rectal Insertion or Cranial-Rectal InversionHead-up-ass syndrome
Cranio-faecal SyndromeS**t for brains
CRAP ScoreCynical Real Alternative Pain Score - an alternative method of scoring pain
CreepersGeriatrics using walkers and wheelchairs
Crispy critterSevere burns victim
CROACCCannot Rule Out Anything, Correlate Clinically (Radiology)
Crop RotationAmbulance shuttle service from nursing home to surgery and back again
CrumblyDerogatory term for an elderly patient
CrumpWhen a patient tries to die on the medical practitioner. Usage: "My patient tried to crump on me repeatedly throughout the night"
CTD"Circling The Drain" or "Certain To Die"
Cut and PasteTo open a patient, discover that there is no hope, and immediately sew him up (or almost immediately - sometimes young surgeons practice surgical techniques for a while).
CYACover your arse
CYACover Your Ass; unnecessary procedure/prescription done to avoid being sued
D&DDeath & Donuts. Mortality and morbidity conferences where doctors and other health-care professionals discuss mistakes and patient deaths (sometimes also called Morbidity and Mortality Meeting (M &M))
D&DDivorced and Desperate (middle aged female who visits doctor weekly just for male attention)
D&DDeath and Donuts (night shift)
Dagenham"Three Stops Beyond Barking": severely disturbed/mad (based on British train station names)
DanceThe process of tying a surgical gown behind the proceduralist's back; involves a 180-degree spin. "Shall we dance?"
Dandruff on wheelsScabies or other transmissible flaky skin condition
DBIDirt Bag Index. Multiply the number of tattoos by the number of missing teeth to give an estimate of the number of days since the patient last bathed.
DementorsStaff on the geriatric ward
DENTISTDoesn't Even Need Treatment - It's Sorted, Truly
Departure loungeGeriatric ward
DermaholidayDermatology, considered to be a less-busy department. See rheumaholiday
DFKDFCDon't f@$king know, don't f@$king care. A diagnosis often applied to a surgery's most regular visitors. Most often treated with a low-dosage course of Amoxycillin.
DFODone Fell Out. Died. DFO is used when the death is not witnessed. "Carol Kirby DFOd before we got here." Also refers to syncope (fainting) in the Southern US.
DICDeath Is Coming, Death In Cage - also an acronym for Disseminated intravascular coagulation
DIFFCRopped In For Friendly Chat (i.e. no medical problem)
Digging for WormsVaricose vein surgery
DILFDoctor I'd Like to F*** (Fornicate with): Nursing slang for good-looking doctor
Disappearing Penis SyndromeThe usual reaction of the male organ in response to insertion of catheter or endoscope; also experienced by the newly obese
Discharged downstairsTransferred to the morgue
Disco biscuitsRefers to the nightclub drug ecstasy. Usage: "The man in cubicle three looks like he's taken one too many disco biscuit".
DMFNFLDumb mother f@$ker, not fit to live
DNADeoxyribonucleic acid or, more usually, did not attend
DOADead on arrival
Doc in a BoxA small health-care center, usually with high staff turnover
Doc till you dropReference to the previous onerous hours worked by house officers
DonorcycleAmerican nursing slang for a motorcycle, so named due to the amount of head trauma associated with motorcycle accidents, but less so with the body, making the perfect candidate for organ donation (noting the lack of helmet laws in some American states)
Donut of deathCT scanner
Doorknob RoundsThe entire presentation takes place in 5 seconds while the consultant's hand never leaves the doorknob to the entrance of the patient's room (US hospitals have small single occupancy rooms)
DOTSDead on the spot (following an accident)
Double bind trialTwo orthopods looking at an electrocardiogram
DPPLeave patient for the next shift to deal with ("Deixa para o PrÌ_ximo PlantÌ£o") - Brazil
Dr FeelgoodA doctor who is indiscriminate about prescribing drugs
DrinkectomySeparating a drunk from his can of lager (performed in A&E dept)
DroolerCatatonic patient.
Droopy Penis SyndromeA patient wanting Viagra prescription
DRTDead Right There
DRTTTTDead Right There, There, There and There (patient dead and in multiple parts at scene of accident)
DSBDrug-Seeking Behaviour (faking illness to fuel narcotic addiction)
DTSDanger To Shipping (in a particularly large patient's records)
DUBDamn Ugly Baby
DuckPortable urinal for bedridden male hospital patients
Dude FactorSurvival scoring factor based on social worth. A high dude factor = an individual of questionable social worth who survives near-fatal injuries. A low dude factor = professional person who slips in the bathroom sustaining a fatal injury
DumpArranging for a patient who should probably be admitted to your service to be admitted to another service or another facility. Also used as a noun, for example "This guy was a total dump from the private hospital."
DWPADeath/Dying With Paramedic Assistance
EDDUeating drinking defecating urinating (but not much else)
EDGATWTTTFElevator Doesn't Go All The Way To The Top Floor (thick)
EFTEleventh Floor Transfer - in a 10 floor hospital; refers to patient who is very close to death
Ego Boost UnitsMed students/junior doctors that follow a doctor
Eiffel Syndrome(From I-fell on it) patient with a foreign object in the rectum
Electric lightsUrea and electrolytes pro•Âle
ELFsEvil Little F@$kers (irritating children)
Embromed(Brazil) imaginary health plan: postponement of solution through hoax.
EMSEarn Money Sleeping (joke at expense of Emergency Medical Service)
EMTExtraordinary Masochistic Tendencies (joke at expense of Emergency Medical Technicians)
Engessar(Brazil) to orient treatment so that the patient can't complain (literally "to place in a cast").
EpidemaholidayEpidemiology, similar to dermaholiday
ERCPEmergency retrograde clerking of patient, an emergency procedure before consultant rounds
ERNOBWEngine Running, No One Behind the Wheel (thick)
ESBAMEat s**t and Bark At the Moon (or "not bloodly likely" in British English)
EstropÌ_cio(Brazil) poor, unkempt obstetric patient ("jeopardy").
Eternal careIntensive care or mortuary
ETOHExtremely Trashed or Hammered (2 derivations given: corruption of "Etho" [ethanol addict] or from "EtOH" [chemistry abbreviation for ethanol])
Ex ArborSomeone who is out of their mind; literally, Latin for "out of (their) tree"
Expensive scareIntensive care
F.BUNDYRefers to slowly dying patient who is Fucked, But Unfortunately Not Dead Yet. (See also TF.BUNDY)
Faecal EncephalopathySh*t for brains
Fallaciopisces rufusRed herring
Family Care PlanOne child gets the sniffles, whole family gets a trip to A&E
FascinectomyLong, but fascinating procedure
FascinomaAn interesting medical rarity
Fatal medicine Coined by Neonatal ICU, for Fetal Medicine, because of high incidence of poor prognosis neonates
Father JackThe confused, usually elderly patient whose constant high pitched verbal ejaculation and attempts to get out of bed are responsible for insomnia on wards. (From a character in the television series Father Ted, who would sit in the corner of a room shouting Drink, Feck, Arse, etc.)
FCBPFellow of the College of Bystander Physicians i.e. doctor having a look-see
FDSTWFound Dead Stayed That Way
Feather CountMeasure of flakiness (e.g. high feather count)
Feed and SeedCare for vegetative patients in "the garden"
Feet up generalA quiet district hospital
FFDIDFound face down in ditch
FFDIGFound face down in gutter
FHHSFemale Hispanic Hysterical Syndrome (screaming and crying)
FICOWA fecalith in the circle of Willis - having feces in the central communicating circulation of the brain
FIDOF@$k It, Drive On (a waste of time/hoax ambulance all)
Fighting DarwinPatients refusing essential treatment through stubborness or stupidity
File 13The Trashcan
Finger WaveRectal exam
FIRTFailed impact resistance test - crash victim
Fish Filetvaginal infection with discharge and odour
Fish Filet with Ketchupvaginal infection with discharge, odour and bleeding (e.g. post-natal)
FITH diseaseF@$ked in the head
FLBs"Funky Looking Beats" found on an EKG that no one can figure out; or funny little bumps (unexplained skin lesions)
FLKFunny Looking Kid. Term used for a child, usually newborn, whose appearance, while superficially normal, suggests investigation for congenital and genetic anomalies. "Funny" in this sense means "weird", not "comical".
FLKOFSFunny Looking Kid, Okay For Sunderland (one of many regional variants of NFN [Normal For Norfolk])
Flower signFresh •Ââowers (or grapes, for the grape sign) at the bedside imply
Fluttering Eye SyndromePatient faking unconsciousness
FMPSFluff My Pillow Syndrome (attention/sympathy seeker), like Call Button Jockey
FOALS NEIGHF@$k Off And Let Someone Not Extremely Incompetent Get Here
FOBFound on Bench
FODEFalling On Deaf Ears
FOL,GOL,FOSFat Old Lady, Gone off Legs, Full Of Sh!t. An old term used to describe a confused elderly lady unable to exercise at home, now unable to move on her own and badly constipated as a result... causing Toxic Confusional State. Reversible within 10 days with regular bowel care, rehydration, good diet and physiotherapy.
FonzieA middle grade doctor seemingly unflappable in any medical emergency. Based on the character Arthur 'Fonzie' Fonzarelli from the American sitcom Happy Days. The allusion is to a conversation in the final scene of the Quentin Tarantino film Pulp Fiction: Yolanda: You don't hurt him! - Jules: Nobody's gonna hurt anybody. We're gonna be like three little Fonzies here. And whatªs Fonzie like? Come on, Yolanda! What's Fonzie like? - Yolanda: Cool? - Jules: What? - Yolanda: He's cool. - Jules: Correctamundo! And that's what we're gonna be. We're gonna be cool.
FOOBAfound on ortho barely alive
FOOSFFall onto outstretched Face - usually in a drunk patient
FOOSHFall onto outstretched Hand
FOOTFlat Out On Tarmac (e.g. biker gone down in full flight)
FORDFound On Road Dead
ForeverectomyA surgical procedure that lasts a very long time
FOSFull of sh!t. A diagnosis given to a patient that is likely not telling the truth or, alternatively, has a bowel obstruction
Frequent FlyerSomeone who is transported to and from hospital on a routine basis (also someone who spends more time at the local hospital then most employees and is known by all staff members including Environmental Services). Also. Patient who calls ambulance multiple times usually when they could seek help in better ways.
Freud SquadPsychiatry department
Friday constructionLike the cars, put together badly when the workers minds were on the weekend
Fruit Saladgroup of stroke patients, all unable to take care of themselves
FTDFixin' to Die
FTFFailure to •Âây or failure to •Ââoat, for attempted suicide victims (jumping FTF Failure to •Âây or failure to •Ââoat, for attempted suicide victims (jumping
FUBARFucked Up Beyond All Recognition
FUBARF@$ked up beyond all repair
FUBILF@$k You Buddy, I'm Leaving. . The act of a doctor at a small hospital dumping a critically ill patient on larger hospital on Friday afternoon before he leaves for the weekend
Full McGill TJHaloperidol 10mg, lorazepam 2mg given through jeans (TJ)
Full MoonFull or overcrowded waiting room/A&E/ER
FURBFunny, Unusual, Rectal Blockage (people who use inappropriate objects as butt-plugs)
Galloping amputationsGangrene spreading up a limb so more and more has to be removed in consecutive surgeries
GardenNeurosurgical intensive care ward, so called because of the "vegetables" found there.
GardeningAttending to patients in neurological intensive care.
Gas PasserAnesthesiologist (see also Gasser, Gas Man or Gaswallah)
GDAGonna die anyway
Genital hurtiesGenital herpes
GerbilophiliaSuffered by patients who present with rodents per rectum
GerifixA combination of broad spectrum antibiotics, thiazide diuretics, and nebulised bronchodilators (with or without corticosteroids) prescribed to elderly patients admitted to UK hospitals between October and March.
GGFGrandpa's (-ma's) got a fever. Shorthand for an elderly person presenting with pyrexia of unknown origin
GhostDerogatory term for med students; they are largely invisible, are absent during difficult situations, silent when asked for volunteers and stealthily evade hard work
GLFGround level fall i.e. a fall from standing, not a fall from a height.
GLMGood looking mum
Glove up & dig inSevere constipation, requiring manual evacuation
Gluteo-cubital agnosisDoesn't know his arse from his elbow; clueless or stupid
Go to GroundAll out of bed or chair
Go to Meet Joe Black/Consult Joe BlackDie
GOAGone On Arrival (police turn up, ambulance turns up, fire brigade turns up, patient doesn't)
Goat Rodeo/Goat RopeEmergency scene which goes badly (resembles a bunch of people riding or wrestling goats)
God's Waiting RoomIntensive care unit and/or geriatric unit
GOKGod only knows
GoldbrickPatient who demands more attention than their (minor) condition warrants.
Golden assAffluent mother who treats the obstetrics nurses like servants
Golden ChildJaundiced youngster
Gold•Âsh stoolAs in 'as rare as‰Û_‰Û (see also Rocking Horse stool)
GOLPGeneralised Old Lady Pains
GOMER"Get out of my emergency room" - a patient, usually poor or elderly, in the emergency room with a chronic, non-emergency condition. The name was popularized by Samuel Shem in his novel The House of God. A heartsink patient.
GomergramOrdering all available tests because the person is unable to explain what is wrong with them
Gone CampingPatient in oxygen tent
GorillacillinA very powerful antibiotic.
GorkedUnresponsive and nonverbal, either due to sedation or medical condition.
GOSGod's own spot (reference to tertiary/teaching hospitals)
Gown's Sign, positiveA patient who leaves (self-discharge ) without official discharge orders
GPOGood for Parts Only
GRAFOB/ GRAHOBGrim Reaper At Foot/ Head Of Bed
Granny dumpingGranny dumping Practice of bringing elderly patients to emergency departments for admission, usually before public holidays
Granny FarmOld persons' residential home, run by a Granny Farmer
Grape signLike flower sign, grapes at the bedside imply the patient has a supportive family
Gravity Assisted Concrete PoisoningJumped/fell from height
Gridiron BellyScarred from multiple ops
GROLIESGuardian Reader Of Low Intelligence in Ethnic Skirt
GUCCIGenito-Urinary Clinc, Chlamydial Infection. Posh female with sexually transmitted chlamydial infection
Guessing tubesStethoscope
Guts and ButtsGeneral surgery
HAIRY PSALMSHaven't any idea regarding your patient send a lot more serum
HallucinomaUsed when you though you saw something that wasn't really there. For instance "The mass on the MRI turned out to be a hallucinoma."
HALSHit And Left Standing. Apparently uninjured but in shock after RTA/MVA
Hamster signSwollen cheeks as seen with steroids, but also as a result of swelling postjugular line insertion
Handbag positiveConfused patient (usually elderly lady) lying on hospital bed clutching handbag - See also "Teddy-bear positive (psych patient) and sunglass positive (psych patient)
Happy feet(US) patient having a grand mal epileptic seizure (in UK, Happy feet means smelly feet (feet which "hum" [stink])
Happy Little CampersChildren in oxygen tents
HasselhoffA term for any patient who shows up in the emergency room with an injury for which there is a bizarre explanation. Original Source: Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff, who hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. The broken glass severed four tendons and an artery in his right arm.
Hat TrickTrauma patient with 3 tubes into him
Head bonkDescribing an otherwise uninjured patient who was struck on the head but came to the ER just to be sure. Best confirmed by asking such patients to demonstrate the severity of impact by getting them to bang their heads on the nearest wall.
Heart sinkFrequently attending patients for whom the physician has little to offer
Hearts and FartsUnit specialising in geriatrics and cardiology
Heel Elevation AtaxiaA woman who appears staggering drunk, but is sober (or slightly tipsy) and can't walk on seriously high stiletto heels
Hens teethAs in "as rare as..."
Hepatology ConferenceDoctors meeting at a pub or bar (no late appointments, I'm going to a hepatology conference)
Hey Docs (or Haydock)Alcoholics handcuffed to wheelchairs in big-city medical wards who chorus "Hey, Doc! when they see a white coat" (sometimes disguised as "Haydock" which is a UK placename)
Hi 5HIV positive ("V" being Roman for 5)
HIBGIAHad it before, got it again
High Serum Porcelain LevelPatient is a crock of sh*t
High Slug TitreLazy patient (slug) that won't get out of bed
High Speed Lead InjectionGunshot
HippoHypochondriac
Hit and RunThe act of operating quickly so as not to be late for another engagement (often a non-medical appointment).
HIVIHusband Is Village Idiot
HMFHysterical Mother Figure
HMOFrom phrase, "Hey, Moe!", a concept pioneered by Dr Moe Howard, who discovered that a patient could be made to forget about the pain in his foot if he was poked hard enough elsewhere. Modern "pokes" with same outcome include estimates for private treatment.
HobgoblinHemoglobin
Hole-in-OneA gunshot wound through the mouth or rectum.
Hollywood codesee Slow Code
Hope'n'ScopeExploratory laparoscopy where you hope to find no disease (unless you're the student, in which case you hope to see something interesting)
HOPEFULHard-up Old Person Expecting Full Useful Life (i.e. OAPs are not priority for most hospitals)
HorrendomaAn awful unknown disease
HorrendoplastyA very difficult operation
HorrendoplastyA god-awful surgery with a probable poor outcome e.g. difficult operation for 12 hours on a patient with a BMI of 45
Hospital Hobo SyndromePerson who visits multiple hospitals seeking attention or accommodation
Hospital pilantrÌ_pico(Brazil) dubiously charitable hospital where profits outweigh philanthropy.
Hospitalismo(Brazil) Revolving-door patient (in-and-out-and-in ....).
House redBlood
HPHispanic Panic, used to describe a Hispanic patient who believes their condition is worse than it actually is. This is generally a result of the perceived over-dramatic and theatrical nature of many Hispanic cultures.
Humpty-dumpty doctorA physiotherapist or rehabilitation doctor (from the nursery rhyme verse "all the king's horses and all the king's men could not put humpty together again")
HypoxanaxemiaPatient with anxiety symptoms (Xanax deficiency)
Icing on the CakeLethal tumor discovered in the X-rays of a heart attack victim.
ImaginascopeWhat you use during radiology rounds to see the lesion the clinician is showing you but you don't see
Improving His ClaimVictim of minor accident, needs no treatment but wants something to support his insurance/legal claim.
InbredsPhysician whose parents are physicians
IncarcaphobiaPatient is hypochondriac prisoner who prefers hospital to jail cell
IncarceritisBecoming dubiously ill when arrested or in court
IncidentalomaSomething found on a scan that requires action, even though it was not what the discoverer was looking for in the first place. "I found an incidentaloma in the adrenal gland". Likely to be benign in nature, but full of liability risks.
Infernal MedicineInternal Medicine department
Insurance PainNeck pain secondary to a minor car bump
Interesting CaseA patient transferred from a non-specialist hospital who is an unmitigated disaster with no accompanying chart or documentation
International House of PancakesNeurology ward full of patients (usually stroke victims) all babbling in a different language.
Intubate Junior/Intubate WillyCatheterise a man (often results in DPS - Disappearing Penis Syndrome)
ISQIn status quo
It's like...The opening words of every medical or nursing student sentence. Has no meaning, just ignore
IWBIntercourse With Biscuits (F**king Crackers)
J. P. FrogJust plain fu@$ing ran out of gas
Jack BauerA doctor still up and working after 24 hours on the job ‰ÛÓ now something of a rarity but well recognised by older clinicians. Usually a bit tetchy: Colleague: Going for lunch, Jack? JB: (shouts) THERE ISN'T TIME! (from the main character in 24)
JAFFAJust Another Fat, F***ing Administrator
JailitisBecoming dubiously ill while in custody or in a jail cell
Janitor's fracturea fracture so obvious that a janitor (cleaner) could diagnose it
JAR or JAR SyndromeJust Ain't Right - often used when a patient has multiple issues
JDLRJust Doesn't Look Right - something is wrong, but no diagnosis has been made yet
JFDIJust F@#king Do It - an order from stressed registrar/resident to argumentative know-it-all junior medical staff who are complaining and seriously underperforming during busiest on-call night from hell
JFOJust fell out - used in the present tense when a person dies. "Carol Kirby JFOd. We saw the whole thing!"
JLDJust like dad. Commonly used as the etiology for an FLK
Journal of Anecdotal MedicineSource quoted for less than evidence-based medical facts
Kaiser SozeRegistrar with an uncanny ability to disappear (not answer phone or pager) when there is work to be done (from movie 'The Usual Suspects')
Kidney stone squirmSpot diagnosis in A&E (see also PID shuf•Ââe)
Killing FieldsThat ward in every hospital where patients go to die
Knife and Gun Clublocal street gangs and other criminal organizations, for example "We have a very active knife and gun club, so the trauma experience is outstanding."
Knife-happyan overly enthusiastic surgeon
Lancelota medic who drains abscesses (called Pokemon in the USA)
Lantern Testshine a torch in the subject's mouth and the eyes light up (no brain)
LarryLocum as in "doing a larry"
Last flea to jump off a dead dogOncologists who never seem to be able to let people die with dignity.
LeechesHealth professionals who take blood samples, e.g. phlebotomists
Lerner/Bernstein FractureThe injury suffered by a patient who is intent on suing someone over his trip or fall (Lerner/Bernstein are ambulance-chasing lawyers in one region).
LFTWMLooking for 3 Wise Men - applied to young pregnant females who deny having had intercourse
LGFDLooks good from door...but not closely examined (end of the bed examination)
Lipstick SignIf a female patient is well enough to put on, she is well enough to be discharged
Liver roundsStaff party, so called because of liver-damaging alcohol
Load the BoatCall in senior medical staff as ass-covering exercise
LOBNHLights On But Nobody Home
LOLLittle old lady
LOL in NADLittle old lady in no apparent distress
Long grasserHomeless person in the Northern Territory of Australia
Loop-the-loopFlamboyant surgical rearrangement of the intestines.
Loose Changedangling limb in need of amputation.
Low voltagea patient demonstrably lacking in intelligence
LPTLow pain threshold
LRO Luck Ran Out (cheated death before, but not this time)
lytesElectrolytes
M & MMortality and morbidity conferences where doctors and other health-care professionals discuss mistakes and patient deaths (sometimes also called Death & Donuts)
MacTiltThe lateral movement of the head to an angle of 45å¡ to the vertical by a palliative care nurse specialist. It is intended to convey sympathy and understanding. (Mac from Macmillan nurse specialist palliative care nurse and tilt.)
MAFAT (May-fat)Mandatory Anasthaesia F^$k Around Time, precedes any incision
Map of Antarctica(NZ) appearance of fatal spontaneous brain haemorrhage on CT scan
Marriageable MonsterYoung female patient who has successfully undergone major plastic surgery.
Matern-a-taxiWhen a pregnant woman calls an ambulance because the contractions are every 2 minutes, but she doesn't have a single contraction during a 30 minute journey to hospital
MCBPMember of the College of Bystander Physicians - doctor having a look-see
Meat hooksSurgical instruments.
Metabolic clinicThe coffee or tea room
Meth MouthCommon symptom in methamphetamine addicted patients
MFB, CFD Measure For Box, Call For Dirt (severely ill [or dead or nearly so])
Michelin's Disease/DisorderMultiple spare tyres (obese)
MICOMasterly inactivity and catlike observation
MICOSMasterly inactivity, catlike observation, and steroids
MicrodeckiaMicro = small, deck = deck of cards; patient playing with less that a full deck (low IQ)
MIDIMyocardial infarction during intercourse (heart attack during sex)
Milk Of AmnesiaPropofol, an anesthetic drug with a milky white color (and a reference to the term milk of magnesia)
MiniMeA trainee or medical student who emulates their senior colleague a little too much but doesn't say a lot. Can be very annoying. (From the character in the Austin Powers films.)
Mobile Drip StandsFire Dept (often found at emergencies alongside paramedics)
MooMoo-MoverThe big blue sheet used for moving obese patients
Mother's MilkPropofol; a reference to its milky appearance and pain-relieving use
MTFMetabolize to Freedom (i.e., let the person sober up, and then they can leave)
MU PainMade Up pain (especially for sick notes and insurance claims)
Mulambo(Brazil) poor patients in public outpatient clinics (literally rag + beggar)
Mushroom syndromeSuffered by housemen who are kept in the dark and shoveled with manure periodically
MVA SpecialCT scan of head, neck, chest, abdomen and pelvis (on car crash patient)
MVA Special With Gravy(aka MVA Full Meal Deal) - MVA Special plus face
N=1 trialPolite term for experimenting on a patient
NADNo Abnormality Detected or Not Actually Done
NAINon Accidental Injury - when patient is suspected of having been assaulted but hasn't said so. Often used as code for suspected child abuse.
NBINo Bony Injury or No Bloody Idea
NebulopathyStrange clinical signs with no "normal" disease apparent
Nectar of the GodsCoffee; without which many hospital services would shut down
Negative Wallet Biopsy(US) patient transferred to cheaper hospital because s/he has no insurance/funds
NeuroslaveryDerogatory term for Neurosurgery based on the extreme long hours compared to orthopaedic surgery
Neurosurgical heightSlightly higher than orthopedic height (see also bounce, and turf)
NFFNormal Fae Fife (Scottish version of NFN below)
NFNNormal For Norfolk (originating from Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. A badly structured hospital where doctors of low calibre end up)
NFPNormal for Portsmouth - repeat abortion, said to be particularly rife in Portsmouth, UK (a sailing port)
NFRNormal for Rockingham (insert any additional local towns with high suspicion of inbreeding...). Traditional use of the TLA defines "Not For Resuscitation"
NKDANot known, didn't ask (As opposed to Nil Known Drug Allergies)
No HopeamineDopamine
NoctorNurse that has done a 6 week training course and acts like s/he's a Doctor
NPSNew Parent Syndrome
NQRNot Quite Right
NSANon-Standard Appearance (what a FLK grows into)
O-signA patient is "giving the O-sign" when very sick and lying with mouth open. This is followed by the Q-sign - when the tongue hangs out of the mouth - when the patient becomes terminal. If a fly lands on the tongue, the paitent is Q-dot sign positive anf has a very grave prognosis.
OBEOpen Both Ends (known in UK as D&V - Diarrhoea and Vomiting)
OBECALPPlacebo (the rationale being that patients don't realise it's "placebo" in reverse)
OBSObvious bullsh*t
Obs & gobsObstetrics and gynecology
Off legsUK standard diagnosis in LOL (see above) for whom the art of defying gravity involving the lower limbs has failed. Usually not associated with any remedial problem
OFIGATOOSOne Foot In the Grave And The Other One Slipping
Ohno-secondThe moment when you realize something has gone horribly
Old man's friendPneumonia (predominantly an American term)
OligoneuronalA patient who is thick (not smart).
Ooh-AahsThose who gather to gawk at an emergency and go "Oooh, Aaah"
OptorectomyOperation to disconnect the eyeball from the anus, due to such a sh*tty outlook on life
Organ recitalA hypochondriac's medical history
Orthopedic heightSlightly lower than neurosurgical height (see also bounce, and turf)
OrthopodOrthopaedic doctor
OsteocephalyBoneheaded
Ostrich treatmentBy pretending it's not there, one hopes it will go away
OTLPOn the launch pad (to be discharged to home)
Overpriced CarpenterOrthopaedic doctor
P4PPenicillin for a penile discharge (back when it was the treatment of choice)
Pakistani Healing DanceA useless procedure performed for benefit of patient and family
Pan investigramShorthand for a raft of investigations
Pan ScanWhole body scan (e.g. after car crash)
PanmetabolopathyA state wherein many (or all) metabolic parameters are out of bounds (usually associated with "Rule of Five" (see below))
Paperweight(NZ) very small patient with severe congenital mental retardation
Papoterapia(Brazil) to give the patient a pep talk, chitchat therapy ("papo" = chitchat).
Parentectomy or parent transplantRemoving parents as an effective cure to a child's problems
Pathology outpatientsMortuary
Pathology OutpatientsMortuary (UK)
PBABLTOPine Box at Bedside, Leave Top Off
PBBBPine box by bedside. Refers to a patient expected to die shortly
PBOOPine Box On Order
PDEPissed, denies everything
Pecker CheckerEither a urologist or a sexual diseases doctor (also the ship's doctor in Naval slang)
Peek and shriekTo open a patient surgically, discover an uncurable condition, and close the incision immediately
PEFYCPre Extricated For Your Convenience (RTA victim that has gone through windscreen)
Penal ColonyRenal ward/dept, especially when a superbug is on the loose
Percussive maintenance Hitting an electronic item, such as a ventilator, to
Pest controlTerm applied to psychiatrists by casualty of•Âcer
PFHParent(s) from Hell (custodians of BFH - Brat From Hell)
PFOPissed And Fell Over
PGTPissed and Got Thumped
PHALSPost-Harmless Accident Lawsuit Syndrome
Pharmaceutically Enhanced PersonalityStoned or medicated
Pharmaceutically GiftedAdmissions with altered mental states as a result of drug use
PHATPretty Hot and Tempting (warning to others)
PIAPain in the ass
PID shuf•fleSpot diagnosis in A&E. Others include the "kidney stone squirm"
Pillow ConsultWanting to smother a difficult patient
Pillow positive(Wales) patients who are repeated admissions for prolonged periods with no physiological cause of their problems. It is joked they go to hospital with their own pillows ready for admission
Pillow TherapyThe urge to smother annoying patient (aggressive euthanasia, tontine treatment).
PIMBA(Brazil) swollen-footed, drunk, run-over beggar ("P̩ Inchado Mulambo B̻bado Atropelado")
PineboxatosisCollection of conditions which lead to transfer to the ECU, usually accompanied by PBTB with positive Q-sign or O-sign
Pink ladyConcoction for gastritis in Australia, contains lignocaine viscous and mylanta
Pink pufferPatient with emphysema
Pink shrinkA gay psychiatrist
PitThe emergency room
PitiÌÁtico(Brazil) patients feigning illness.
Plano Paf̼ncio(Brazil) alleged preferential treatment of relatives of hospital employees.
Please Consult Us If New (Surgical) Issues ArisePlease never page me again
Please Optimize Medical TreatmentDon't call us until you've done your job first
Plumbus oscillans'Latin' for swinging the lead
Pneumocephalicliterally: 'airhead'
Podo-OralFoot in Mouth (i.e. put one's foot in it - rarely used BY senior staff, sometimes used ABOUT them)
PokemonPronounced Pokey-man) - the medic who drains abscesses (Lancelot (lance-a-lot) in the UK)
Policeman lesionA lesion on an X ray that is so obvious, a policeman would see it.
Poliesculhambado(Brazil) multi-f*cked-up patient.
PolybabydadicThe state of having illegitimate children by several fathers, known or unknown.
Polydipose DysfunctionBig, fat patient (polydipose being invented plural of adipose [fat])
Pop DropGrandad dumping (dumping elderly relative at Casualty dept)
POPTAPassed Out Prior To Arrival
Porch People, Walmart GreetersConfused patients sitting in chairs in hall for close observation
Portcullis signThe presence of the "O-sign" and "Q-sign" with the addition of the top set of false teeth having fallen to trap the tongue in place
Positive Blue Legs Sign(US) resuscitation behind closed curtains (US ER medics wear blue scrubs)
Positive Hilton SignDemanding patient expects Hilton Hotel luxury; indicates patient well enough to leave!
Positive Suitcase SignPatients who are repeated admissions for prolonged periods with no physiological cause of their problems. They turn up at hospital with packed suitcases ready for admission
Possible This Possible ThatConsent form in case exploratory surgery
Postweekend fatigue syndromeDisease seen mainly in general practice surgeries on Monday mornings
Pot PlantPerson in a Persistant Vegetative State (often used in plural to mean coma ward)
Pox docsPhysicians who staff the gerito-urinary medicine clinic
PPPPiss Poor Protoplasm - a patient endowed with inferior/defective genetic material
PRATFOPatient reassured and told to fuck off
Pre-Detention Stress DisorderA person who feigns medical symptoms when police handcuff him
PsychoceramicUsed in psychology to indicate that the patient in question is a crackpot. Also used for psychogeriatrics.
PsycodeCode blue in a psychiatric hospital. It is always someone passing out from the side effects of their meds.
Pucker FactorThe degree/speed of constriction of the surgeon's anal sphincter is directly proportional to the patient's risk of sudden death
Pumpkin positiveRefers to the idea that a person's brain is so tiny that a penlight shone into their mouth will make their empty head gleam like a Jack-o'-lantern.
Purple (code purple)When paramedics are called out to a dead body
PVC ChallengeTo intubate someone.
Q-dot signThe end of it
Q-signsee O-sign, Portcullis sign
QT-signFollows the Q sign, when the tongue is out and the tablet remains on
QuackpractorChiropractor
QwertyitisDisease a doctor suffers from when s/he spends more time on a computer than with actual patients
Rear AdmiralProctologist
Red pipeArtery (as opposed to "blue pipe" or vein)
Removal menCare of the elderly department
RetrospectoscopeEquipment that endows the bene•Ât of hindsight
RheumaholidayRheumatology, considered by hard-pressed juniors to be a less busy department. See dermaholiday
RidiotSomeone who acts like an ass on Ritalin
RingoExpendable member of a team. (After Ringo Starr, drummer with the Beatles. John, Paul, and George went on to successful solo careers. Ringo did the voiceover for Thomas the Tank Engine.)
RoachA patient, usually a dirtbag/ingrate, that can't be killed despite near lethal complications of an already serious ailment
ROADDermatologist. Acronym "Retired On Active Duty" Akin to "dermaholiday"
Road Chilli or PizzaUnrestrained driver/motorcyclist or passenger, ejected and splattered
Road MapInjuries incurred by going through a car windshield face first.
Road Map AbdomenScarred from multiple ops (same as Gridiron Belly, Zorro Belly)
Road TestTo get a drunk patient to walk up and down a corridor; if they pass they are turfed, if they fail they need a bit longer to sober up.
RockA patient that stays on your service forever
Rocket RoomA ward/unit where there are many deaths (many transfers to heaven)
Rocking horse stoolAs in 'as rare as...' (see also goldfish stool)
RootersIndigents and hangers-on who gather in big-city emergency rooms in order to be entertained by legitimate cases.
Rose cottageMortuary
Rothman's signTobacco staining of fingers
Rounding Up The Usual SuspectsOrdering a set of tests for a given set of symptoms
RPVURelative Porsche Value Unit - surgical index of potential income from the repair of patient injuries, usually orthopaedic in nature. Fractured finger = a windscreen wiper; a fractured hip = new tyres etc.
RTT with a BBBRat-a-Tat-Tat with a Baseball Bat (hit with blunt instrument).
Rule of FiveIf more than five of the patient's orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance of survival.
SaddlesMaternity sanitary towels (napkins), so called for their size and the bow-legged effect of wearing them
Samsonite sign positiveWhen a patient turns up with a suitcase (Samsonite is a type of suitcase)
SarcoidosisAn actual disease, but a perfectly acceptable answer that may be included in ANY differential diagnosis
SBISomething Bad Inside e.g. undiagnosed cancer/unexpected serious condition found when performing surgery
ScepticemiaWhat physicians develop with experience
Scrape and StapleBurns unit
Search and RescueThe medical middle grader allocated to look after the patients dotted in non-medical wards
See one, do one, teach oneClassical way to learn medical techniques
SelloutDerogatory term for plastic surgeon in private practice
SEPSomebody else's problem (not to be confused with sepsis)
September club Not-so-exclusive group of students doing retakes (UK), aka summer school in AUS/NZ
Serum rhubarbObscure tests carried out only in specialist centers
SF ScaleSphincter Factor Scale: 1 to 10 scale indicating degree of bowel-loosening in response to an emergency
SFSStinky Foot Syndrome (often related to homeless)
SHAShip His Ass (when patients refuse to be discharged).
SHADSyphilitic, Hypochondriac, Alcoholic Degenerate
Shadow gazerRadiologist
Shandy TapBloodless lumbar puncture
Short-Order ChefsMortuary workers.
ShotgunningOrdering a wide variety of tests in the hope that one will show what's wrong with a patient
SickReally sick i.e. FTD (Fixing To Die) or CTD (Circling The Drain)
SieveA physician (usually a resident) who is not skilled at dumping; the opposite of a wall.
SÌ_ndrome JEC(Brazil) terminal patient ("Jesus EstÌÁ Chamando" = "Jesus is calling").
SIOSleeping It Off
SlasherSurgeon
SloughPatient who another unit or hospital tries to unload on you inappropriately or unfairly
Slow codeUsually an elderly patient who is very ill, but wants everything done so they will not die. Everyone on the medical team disagrees. "Mr. Smith is a slow code". i.e. don't run to get the code cart (take your time).
Smiling death Friendly examiner everyone loves to hate, or appears friendly but gives low grades
Smoke the Anaesthetic Cigar/Smoke the CamelIntubated and ventilated
Smurf SignPatient blue or going blue
SNEFS/M SNEFSSubnormal (or Mentally Subnormal) Even For Suffolk (a rural English county)
SnowTo accidently give a patient too much medication/mixed medication so they go into an altered state of consciousness ("Don't snow that patient with Drug X and Drug Y at the same time!)
SnowedBeing in a state of altered consciousness due to too much/mixed medication
SNUDSick Nigh Unto Death
SOBSilly Old Bugger, Sitting Out of Bed/Sitting On Bed, Short Of Breath
Society for the Prevention of SurgeryAnaesthesia Department
SOCMOBStanding On Corner, Minding Own Business - referencing an assault victim who is lying about their injuries to avoid discussing their own illicit acts at the time of the attack.
SODDISome Other Doctor Did It (when one medic's botched jobs must be put right/answered for by someone else)
Sofa SurferHomeless person who sleeps on friends' sofas and floors (ends up at A&E for "3 hots and a cot" when s/he has nowhere else to stay)
Soft admissionOne that only a sieve would accept
SOGSick Old Guy (male version of LOL (Little Old Lady)
Special KKetamine - Slang for the anesthetic and amnestic drug Ketamine
Speed bumpsHaemorrhoids
Spin the PatientCT scan
Spots and dotsTraditional set of childhood diseases - measles, mumps, and chicken pox
SquirrelStrange patient, particularly one whose eccentricities make your life difficult. There is a related adjective, "squirrelly." A common aphorism is "Squirrels get sick too", used as a reminder not to dismiss such a patient's concerns out of hand because they may actually have a real problem.
SSDDSame Sh!t Different Day (in conjunction with Frequent Flyer)
St. ElsewhereTerm used in ivory towers to describe any nonteaching hospital
Stage MotherPerson accompanying patient and encouraging patient to exaggerate the complaint (often to obtain a particular diagnosis or to get an unnecessary prescription)
StampSkin graft
Stat Immediately, shortened from the latin statim
Status HispanicusAn overly agitated Hispanic patient (often Caribbean, seldom Mexican) who cannot stop screaming about their condition without providing useful information
Steel SignSurgical metalwork from previous ops visible on x-ray
Stem to SternThroat to pubis incision
Stream teamUrology dept
Stupidity PanelLab test (for patient stupidity) that, when invented, will earns its inventor a fortune (i.e. thick patient)
SturgeonSurgeon
Sucking The Peace PipeIntubated
Summer TeethSome are teeth and some aren't ...
SunshineHow one addresses an entitled, arrogant patient
SupratentorialAll in the head, crazy
SWAGScientific Wild Ass Guess
SYBSave Your Breath (for patients who don't take advice)
Tachylordyosis(with the junctional Jesus) - Usually a middle-aged to older black female American with a complaint of "lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy", occasionally with the interspersed "Jesus" i.e. "lordy, lordy, lordy, lordy, Jesus help me, lordy, lordy"
TATTTalks all the time, or tired all the time
TBDTotal body dolor i.e. complains of pain everywhere
TBPTotal body pain
TDSTerminal deceleration syndrome (e.g. RTA death, high-rise syndrome, jump-suicides and parachute-failed-to-open)
TEETHTried everything else, try homeopathy
TesticulationDescription of a gesture typically used by hospital consultant "when holding forth on subject on which he or she has little knowledge". Gesture is of an upturned hand with outstretched fingers pointed upwards, clutching an invisible pair of testicles.
TFTBToo fat to breathe
THCThree hots and a cot - sought in ED/ER by the local homeless (three hot meals and a bed)
The Fish PlantGynaecology/Obstetrics Ward (from Newfoundland, where fisheries is the main industry)
The Promised LandPrivate practice/final year of medical school
Therapeutic MonitoringMonitoring a patient purely because it makes the doctor feel better.
Thorazine shuffleSlow, lumbering gait of psychiatric patients dosed up on phenothiazines
Three-toed slothPatient with diminished capacities, usually from long-term alcoholism
Throckmorton signAlso known as the John Thomas sign (UK) - used to describe a penis that is visible on xray; tradition dictates that the side that the penis points to will have an abnormal finding.
Tinted speculopathyA patient who wears dark sunglasses inside the hospital. They either have a personality disorder or a cause of meningeal irritation
TLAThree-letter acronym. Used repeatedly by Acronymophiliacs
TLCTube, Lavage & Charcoal (given to poisoning victim)
TMBToo many birthdays
TMIThree Meaningless Initials (e.g. John Smith, TMI - applied to medics with qualifications rather than ability)
ToasterDefibrillator
TOBPTired of Being Pregnant (especially patient demanding caesarian)
TOGTears of Gratitude
Tontine TreatmentUrge to put pillow over face of irritating patient (Tontine is a leading brand of pillows in Australia, also a type of will)
Torture RoomIntensive Care Unit (due to invasive tubes and monitors and experimental treatments).
Toxic Confusional StateConfused, usually elderly, person whose problem is due to constipation (toxic build up in body)
TrambiclÌ_nica(Brazil) a clinic staffed by medical students in order to maximise profits ("fraudulent clinic").
Transcranial Lead TherapyGunshot wound passing through head
Trauma GodsMythological deities whom A&E personnel believe to be the cause of major emergencies
Trauma handshaken. a digital rectal exam. Every major trauma patient gets one
Trauma TwinkieAmbulance (one of the smaller or European-style ones)
Treat and streetTo treat a patient in the ER or clinic without admitting them to the hospital.
Trick cyclistsPsychiatrists
Trigger HappyA medic that gives a shot [injection] for everything or patient that used call button excessively.
Triple EEthnic Emotional Episode, when the family of a minority patient becomes overly distressed and begins to interfere with their family member's treatment.
TSSToxic Sock Syndrome (often related to homeless)
TTFOTold To F@$k Off (...or as one doctor told the Judge, to take fluids orally)
TTOASTTake Them Out and Shoot Them
TTRTea Time Review or Tattoo to Tooth ratio - see Dirt Bag Index, above
TUBETotally unnecessary breast exam
TurfDiverting a patient to another team by buf•Âng the history to suit.
Turfmaster generalsThe most advanced exponents of the art of turfing
Turn and BasteIncontinence care (roll and clean up patient after a code brown)
Turtle's HeadIn severe constipation where the anus is dilated and a faecal mass is visible (aka "shy turd") - the problem is, it starts to come out and then, like a turtle's head, it goes back in again!
TVTPTried Vancomycin, Try Prayer (Vancomycin is anti-MRSA drug itªs resistant to anything else)
TWAThird world assassins. Slang for the allegedly poor medical care delivered by physicians who went to medical school in foreign countries (like Northern Ireland)
Two beersThe number of beers every patient involved in an alcohol-related automobile accident claims to have drunk before the accident
Two dudesThis is always the answer when doctors ask a patient who beat them up, as in "I was walking down the street minding my own business when these two dudes jumped me for no reason." The implication is that if it were only one dude the patient would have won the fight.
Two Legged Guinea PigPatient undergoing experimental or extreme treatments
Two Stops Short of West Ham(Psychiatry) Barking mad. Barking is slang for "mad" and also the name of a station; it is 4 stops from West Ham, but the psych slang follows the formula "2 sandwiches short of a picnic", "Tuppence short of a shilling" (simple-minded/nuts) - the deficit is alway 2 items. Severe madness is "Dagenham" i.e. "3 stops beyond Barking".
TWSAMTrash Will Survive And Multiply
UBIUnexplained Beer Injury - for for all those hungover people on Sunday mornings with black eyes/swollen knees and no idea how they'd got them
UDIUnexplainable Drinking Injury
Unborn Farts/Retained Fartsabdominal bloating due to trapped wind (gas)
Unclear medicine Nuclear medicine, especially in reference to V/Q scans
UnfascinectomyLong slog of a procedure
UnfascinomaLong procedure, now getting longer or a procedure that fascinates specialist diagnosticians, but isn't fascinating surgeons
UnineuronalExtremely educationally challenged worse than oligoneuronal
UNIVACUnusually Nasty Infection, Vultures are Circling
UPFUn-passed fart - describing gasseous distention as seen on an xray of the abdomen
UPIDUltimate Personality Improvement Device - Endotracheal tube
Urban OutdoorsmanHomeless person
VampiresThose who take blood samples, e.g. lab techs (also slang for blood donor service)
VDVeak and Dizzy. Any older person who just doesn't feel "right". No specific complaint, but decided something must be wrong and came to the ER at 2am. "I am just weak and dizzy doc!"
Vegea patient requiring intensive care, incapable of movement
VelcroFamily or friends accompanying patient everywhere; also applies to medical students who follow doctors too closely.
Verandaarea in front of nurse's station where the porch people sit (see Porch People)
ViaggravationWhat a doctor gets from a patient who is demanding erectile dysfunction medication on the NHS (not all areas of the UK provide this on NHS)
VIPVery intoxicated person
Virgin abdomenA patient that has never had abdominal surgery before, implying that there will be little intra-abdominal scarring.
Vitamin AAtivan
Vitamin DDiazepam for sedation, also Vitamin V for valium
Vitamin DDiesel (ambulance term). "Give it some Vitamin D" means drive faster
Vitamin HA haloperidol injection, used in the ER setting to rapidly sedate patients who display dangerous or destructive behavior that threatens the safety of hospital staff and other patients.
Vitamin HHeroin (drug addict)
Vitamin KKetamine for procedural sedation or intubation.
Vitamin LLasix
Vitamin MMorphine
Vitamin PLasix (diuretic) given to stimulate urination (peeing) in post-operative patients; can also mean Prozac
Vitamin VValium, Diazepam or any intravenous sedative; in General Practice it is Viagra
Vitamin ZZosyn or Zoloft
VOMITVictim Of Modern Imaging Technology (i.e. try treating the patient, not the report from radiology; particularly referring to invasive procedures for false positives.
VTMKVoice To Melt Knickers (the voice deliberately cultivated by some doctors)
WADHAOweak and dizzy and hurt all over
WAFTAM("woff-tam"): Waste Of F#$%Ing Time And Money
WallA physician (usually a resident) adept at preventing admissions to his service. See "dump"
WalletectomyAn expensive procedure, in private practice
Ward 101The source of referrals that fills the recipient with dread. (From room 101, which contained all the deepest fears of the protagonist in George Orwell's novel 1984.)
Weed PullerObstetrician
White cloudAn on-call doctor who has uneventful call nights. As opposed to a Black Cloud
White LizardThe white coloured "cocktail" given for stomach problems (Black Lizard is similar "cocktail" but contains activated charcoal)
White MiceTampons
Whopper with cheeseDescription of a woman with large pendulous breasts with moist intertrigo beneath them
Wifty Mildly confused, but seems oriented most of the time
Wig pickerTherapist or psychologist
Wilkinson's SyndromeA patient who has slashed their wrists with a razor blade (after a popular brand of razor)
Will Follow From A DistanceWill check your lab results, but will never set foot in your room again
William(UK) chiropedist i.e. William the corn-curer (William the Conqueror)
Win the gameTo discharge all of the patients from your service, so that you have no inpatients to care for. For example "Mike won the game and doesn't have to round this weekend." Also known as a "Yahtzee"
WinnerA patient with very good luck; can also sarcastically mean a loser.
Witch doctorSpecialist in internal medicine
WITPOMSWhy Is This Patient On My Service
WNLUsed for recording vital signs. It can mean "within normal limits" or "we never looked"
WOMBATWaste Of Money, Brains And Time
Woolworth's TestAnaesthetic term (if you could have imagined patient shopping in Woolies, it's safe to give a general anaesthetic)
Wooly jumperAny non-acute physician
WrinklyElderly patient
WTDBWhite Trash Douchebag (Pronounced "whiskey tango DB")
WWIWalking while intoxicated (and fell over)
YAVISYoung, attractive, verbal, intelligent, successful.
YMRASUYour Medical Records Are Screwed Up
YOYOYou're on your own; see "amyoyo" and "solomf yoyo" (also message passed from one doctor to another regarding problem/mystifying cases)
YSMYummy scrummy mummy - an attractive parent
ZebraAn unusually strange or unexpected disease (from the saying "When you hear hoofbeats, the smart money is on horses, not zebras")
Zorro bellySurgical inscription on the abdomen of an unfortunate patient


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  1. says

    Oops!! You already had SOCMOB -- sorry. I would suggest a “Full McGill TJ” -- haloperidol 10mg, lorazepam 2mg given through jeans. I gave rounds at McGill in Montreal a few years ago and they presented me with the department t-shirt. The front had a very nice logo with “McGill Emergency Medicine.” The back simply said “Haldol 10, Ativan 2.” The nurses at Temple now know a Full McGill or, depending on body habitus, a Half McGill (5 + 1). “TJ” means don’t bother finding flesh, just stick it through whatever body part is convenient, clothed or not.

  2. David says

    UBE (unnecessary breast examination) used to be a popular one at med school, and I did once see it written in the notes…..

  3. encephalopathy says

    ‘T’ -- sign. Follows on after the ‘O’ and ‘Q’ signs. It’s when the patient is dead and there are at least 3 cups of tea on their bedside table.

    TF BUNDY -- totally f**ked, but unfortunately not dead yet

    UBE -- unnecessary breast examination
    TUBE -- totally unnecessary breast examination

    Combination of painted toenails+tattoo+belly button piercing+abdominal pain = PID until ruled out. Haven’t heard of an eponymous name for that one yet

    • says

      T sign is one we didn’t have -- will add to Q sign, Q dot sign, QT sign and portcullis sign. The others are all in there -- the dictionary has over 700 terms thus far…
      C

  4. Driver says

    It seems you are missing SIDS -> Severe Italian Distress Syndrome. Found in many suburbs of Melbourne this is very similar to Status Hispanicus and the severity of presentation usually has no correlation to the severity of the illness.

  5. bhouglan says

    Did not see HONDAS —
    hypertensive, obese, non adherent (or noncompliant) diabetic alcoholic smoker, good number of my patients

  6. Ben says

    “Man Down” -- Term used to describe a Resident who is present, but whose workload is so poor, or whose skills/assessments so bad, that they might as well not be there.

  7. Nick Blundell says

    The ‘Rocky sign’ in a Neuro exam.
    Elicited by asking the effected pt to shout “Adrian!”.
    If they sound like Rocky then they have had a stroke.
    ‘I have a 70 year-old who has a right hemiparesis and is Rocky positive admitted under Neuro’

  8. David says

    My eternal favorite is TOBAS (take out back and shoot). Usually refers to a method of treatment for that minimally ill person for whom no treatment works and nothing you can think of will work.

  9. Brent says

    Dont forget:
    TFTW -- Too Fat To Wash, a frequent cause of necrotising fatitis
    Social intubation -- endotracheal tube insertion as therapy for the patient being an a$$ho1e

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