Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Healthcare Explained

Healthcare explained in three television skits from the past:

My sister recently graduated from PA school and is working in a very busy ER.  She proffered a classic skit as an illustration of ER proficiency.

Unfortunately I can't find a clip from the start of the skit but I did find an interview with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. 

Tim came up with the idea from a dental school experience. A dental student injected a volunteer, missed the jaw and sent the needle through the guy's cheek and into own thumb. Rather than admit to accidental self-anesthitization, he powered through with a partially immobilized hand.

Harvey Korman didn't know about a few details of the sketch like the fly and couldn't contain himself. They did two shows and between the first and the second he was told it would be a lot better if he didn't laugh. He didn't manage on the second show either . . . 

and I completely disagree that not laughing would have been better. 

A fellow PA graduate responded with this skit illustrating the difficulties in getting approval for transferring a patient to the ER.

As I said-he is not sleeping, has not taken any meds or drugs that would highly sedate him, is not responding to any painful stimuli, didn't respond to lorazepam, has enlarged pupils, drooling from the mouth-could you please just take a look at him?!?

Monty Python Live (Mostly) was a 2014 live stage show where the Dead Parrot sketch was revived. In an interview, John Cleese explained how an error led to a change in the production. 

When Michael Palin offered to exchange the parrot for a slug, Cleese asked if it talks and Palin should respond no. 

During one performance Palin reported that the slug was "muttering a bit." Cleese, found that so funny he couldn't remember the next line and asked the audience. "Six hundred people yelled the line." 

"When you’re dealing with material that the audience knows better than you do, quite seriously, it’s a total game changer."

My offering is a running with scissors comparison to healthcare bureaucracy in action . . . making simple tasks disastrous. 

When David Hyde Pierce was five, he would stand at the top of the stairs and pretend to be shot. "I loved the idea of performing death scenes. It is the most dramatic thing you can do." 

Early on, when filming Frasier,  he took a specular, over the top, prat fall. "After that, the writers started looking for ways for me to hurt myself."

Dentist, parrot and ways to hurt yourself . . . 

I think that is a pretty good summary of healthcare in America. 

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