Travelers take note: Should you ever happen to find yourself admitted to a British hospital, hope that you find yourself in the care of a calm “Fonzie,” rather than a frazzled “Jack Bauer.” According to a story on the website of the British Medical Journal, pop-culture references abound in the slang words used by medical students in the U.K. — the iconic Happy Days character describes a doctor who maintains his cool even in the hairiest of situations, while 24‘s excitable CTU agent is usually some over-caffeinated resident well into a long day’s journey into night. Some more examples: a “Hasselhoff” (pictured, right) is a patient who comes in with injuries resulting from bizarre circumstances; you can guess what kind of student or assistant is called a “Mini Me.”
Now, unlike most medical jargon, this particular kind of shorthand is simple and easy to understand — even helpful. And I say it should be adopted by our own health-care community. In fact, I have a few suggestions of my own. I mean, who would you pick to perform an emergency quadruple-bypass by candlelight: a “MacGyver” (able fashion a heart-lung machine using a house key, a broken rubber band, and an empty Pringles can) — or a “Sam the Butcher” (“Awww, geez kids, I really gotta run — Alice is making a pot roast for dinner!”)?
Okay, so what about you, citizens of PopWatch City? Which characters from movies or television would you use to describe a kind of person you’d want to take care of you — or avoid — in a hospital?
addCredit(“‘McGyver’: Everett Collection; ‘Knight Rider’: NBC”)