Study: hospital staff joke about patients

Apr 26, 2006

A new study finds hospital staff routinely crack jokes at the patient's expense while medical students learning about professionalism get mixed messages.

Researchers at Northeastern Ohio University's College of Medicine interviewed 58 medical students at the Rootstown, Ohio, campus about behavior they engaged in or witnessed.

Many said the most obese patients, the mentally ill, men with small penises, women with big breasts, substance abusers and those who injured themselves doing something stupid were the most likely the butt of jokes.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports terminally ill patients, especially young cancer patients, were left out of any ridicule.

The study, led by Dr. Joseph Zarconi, associate dean for clinical education at the medical school, said students are taught one way to behave in the classroom and see another in person.

"They get mixed messages. To play the game means participating in the humor game," said Zarconi.

The study, published in Tuesday's issue of Academic Medicine, showed jokes weren't made around patients. It found those who made jokes said some patients deserved to be made fun of.

Others said it was a way to relieve stress.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Local education politics 'far from dead'

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Designing exascale computers

Jul 23, 2014

"Imagine a heart surgeon operating to repair a blocked coronary artery. Someday soon, the surgeon might run a detailed computer simulation of blood flowing through the patient's arteries, showing how millions ...

Engineering light-controlled proteins

Jul 03, 2014

(Phys.org) —A University of Wyoming professor has engineered proteins that can be activated by near-infrared light as a way to control biological activities in deep tissues of small mammals.

Slaying bacteria with their own weapons

Jun 26, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned last fall that the U.S. faces "potentially catastrophic consequences" if it doesn't act quickly to combat the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant infections, ...

Recommended for you

Local education politics 'far from dead'

21 hours ago

Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. Surprisingly, however, political candidates from the program aren't just pushing ...

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools

21 hours ago

A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools—but the ...

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge

21 hours ago

Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland ...

Why aren't consumers buying remanufactured products?

23 hours ago

Firms looking to increase market share of remanufactured consumer products will have to overcome a big barrier to do so, according to a recent study from the Penn State Smeal College of Business. Findings from faculty members ...

Expecting to teach enhances learning, recall

23 hours ago

People learn better and recall more when given the impression that they will soon have to teach newly acquired material to someone else, suggests new research from Washington University in St. Louis.

User comments : 0