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How To Enjoy Your Next Christmas Party

Did you enjoy your clinic Christmas party? Or did you dread going? It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some suggestions to lighten things up at your next clinic party (Christmas or others).

As a traveling surgeon, I was fortunate to be invited to several Christmas parties. At one of my referral clinics, a digital camera is always available for team members to take pictures. So during Christmas dinner, those pictures are shown to reminisce: past patients, silly faces, group pictures, funny poses, goofy photo-montages (strangely enough, they often involve male doctors’ heads and muscular bare-chested models), cute puppies and kittens. ... It was impressive to hear technicians fondly remembering the name of their patients.

Another fun moment was the award ceremony: Doctor of the Year, Technician of the Year, Assistant of the Year and Receptionist of the Year.

Then came the “fun awards.” They were given for:

• Best Comic Reliever
• Spelling Bee Champ (a doctor, who presumably writes words like tounge and reciepe without blinking an eye)
• Most Unfortunate Accidents: a doctor managed to have highly pressurized blocked intact male cat urinate on her face; oh, and how about anal sac fluid in her hair?
• Steady Hand award: to a doctor “who never loses his cool in surgery”
• Most Helpful Helper: a technician, who received votes “from each group for helping out in all areas of the hospital” • Dog Whisperer and Cat Whisperer
• Cowgirl of the Year: a technician who famously stayed on top of a bucking husky
• Queen of Cleans: the magical cleaning lady
• Best Practical Joke: to a technician for tricking a doctor into thinking that she had been bitten by a rabies suspect—complete with real blood
• Quote of the Year: to a doctor who was working on a hamster and said: “Hold on, let me wash my hands and grab my junk.”

There were quite a few other funny quotes:

• “It’s like crack for cats.” (A doctor, speaking of a certain type of cat food).
• “I’ve had 100 percent success with euthanasia.”
• “I know he’s a boy, I’ve seen his penis.” (A technician, speaking of a furry dog’s gender).
• “Presenting problem: not breathing. That is NOT good.” (A doctor, looking at the appointment book).
• “Maybe you’re anemic because you have a rectal polyp.”
• “No, my older younger brother.”
• “Wait, I forgot why I was confused.”
• “Chlamydia looks like fun.”

Only at a veterinary clinic! You just don’t hear things like that at the donut factory.

And call me biased, but then came the greatest moment, with a few quotes heard in the surgery room:

• “Well, that didn’t work!”
• “OMG, are you kidding me?”
• “I can’t see what I’m doing.”
• “Oops.”
• “Great, just what I needed.”
• “This is insane.”
• “What am I supposed to do now?”
• “I can’t feel my fingers.”
• “This is a disaster!”
• “Might as well understand what you’re doing.”
• “I have no clue what I’m removing right now.”
• “What on earth is this?”
> • “I can’t cut it out!”
• “Was this attached to something?”

So if you dread going to your next Christmas party, maybe you can borrow a few ideas from colleagues who keep things light and fun. It does require some preparation to gather pictures and quotes, but the good news is you have a whole year to do that.

And then don’t forget to share with us!

Dr. Phil Zeltzman is a mobile, board-certified surgeon in Allentown, PA. His website is www.DrPhilZeltzman.com. He is the co-author of “Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound: How You and Your Dog Can Lose Weight, Stay Fit, and Have Fun Together.”


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